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Tar Heel Tales 


H. E. C. Bryant 
^^Red Buck'' 

Stone ^ Barringer Co. 

Charlotte, N, C. 

aiTi T z rrr T T zrsmg^^ ■ ■j qi s'it'tt t ;^ 

Copyright, 1909, 
By stone & BARRINGER CO. 




OF Tar Heels, I dedicate all, in lov- 


These tales, concerning all sorts and con- 
ditions of people, were written by H. E. C. 
Bryant, better known as Red Buck. As staff 
correspondent of The Charlotte Observer, 
Mr. Bryant visited every comer of North 
Carolina, and in his travels over the state 
wrote many stories of human interest, de- 
picting life and character as he found It. 
His first impulse to publish his stories in 
book form resulted from an appreciation of 
his work by the lamented Harry Myrover, 
a very scholarly writer of Fayetteville, who 

*' I have been struck frequently at how 
the predominant mental characteristic sticks 
out in Mr. Bryant. His sense of humor is 
as keen as a razor. He sees a farce while 
other men are looking at a funeral, and this 
exquisite sense of humor Is liable to break 
out at any time — even in church. One may 


read after him seriously, as he reports the 
proceedings of a big event but toward the 
last the whole thing Is likely to burst out In 
an Irrepressible guffaw, at some very quaint, 
funny reflection or criticism, or an Inadver- 
slon. All this shows out, too, from the per- 
sonal side of the man, making him dellghjt- 
ful In talk, and altogether one of the most 
entertaining fellows one will meet In many 
a day's journey. 

*' I really think there Is more Individuality 
about his writings, than about those of any 
other writer of the state. Every page spar- 
kles and bubbles with the humor of the man, 
and It Is a clean, wholesome humor, there 
being nothing In It to wound, but everything 
to cheer and please." 

These words honestly spoken by Mr. 
Myrover encouraged Mr. Bryant. Red 
Buck's dialect stories soon obtained a state 
wide reputation, and as Mr. J. P. Caldwell, 
the gifted editor of The Charlotte Observer, 
truly said: *' His negro dialect stories are 
equal to those of Joel Chandler Harris — 
Uncle Remus." 


His friends will be delighted to know that 
he has collected some of the best of his 
stones, and that they are presented here. 

In North Carolina there is no better known 
man than Red Buck. A letter addressed to 
" Red Buck, North Carolina," would be de- 
livered to H. E. C. Bryant, at Charlotte. 
Everybody in the state knows the big hearted, 
auburn haired Scotch-Irishman of the Meck- 
lenburg colony, who, on leaving college went 
to work on The Charlotte Observer and, on 
account of his cardinal locks, rosy complexion 
and gay and game way, was dubbed " Red 
Buck " by the editor, Mr. Caldwell. It was 
an office name for a time. Then it became 
state property, and the name " Bryant " per- 

Red Buck has traveled all over the state 
of North Carolina and written human inter- 
est stories from every sand-hill and mountain 
cove. Many Tar Heels know him by no 
other name than Red Buck. In fact there 
is a Red Buck fad in the state, which has 
resulted in a Red Buck brand of whiskey, a 
Red Buck cigar, a Red Buck mule, a Red 


Buck pig, and a Red Buck rooster, although 
the man for whom they are named drinks 
not, neither does he smoke. 

This book of Tar Heel tales is from Mr. 
Bryant's cleverest work. 

Thomas J. Pence. 

Washington Press Gallery. 
December, 1909. 


Uncle Bens Last Fox Race I 

Forty Acres and a Mule 1 1 

The Spaniel and the Cops . . . , . ' ZZ 

A Hound of the Old Stock 43 

Minerva — The Owl 58 

Uncle Derrick in Washington 68 

And the Signs Failed Not 79 

The Irishman s Game Cock 97 

Strange Vision of Arabella 112 

A Negro and His Friend 125 

Faithful Unto Death 142 

" Red Buck '': Where I Came By It , . .153 

Until Death Do Us Part 168 

Uncle George and the Englishman .... 181 

She Didnt Like my Yellow Shoes . . . .191 

Afraid of the Frowsy Blonde 199 

Jan Pier — The Shoeshine 206 

William and Appendicitis 214 



ISline Little Tar Heels . . . Frontispiece 

Uncle Ben I 

Aunt Matt il 

Tite, Riding a Democratic Ox .... 27 

Marse Lawrence and Trouble .... 43 

Uncle Derrick at Home 68 

Preparing for the Guest 79 

Arabella the Day After 1 12 

Jim in a Peaceful Mood 1 25 

William 214 

Uncle Ben. 



CCT^ /f'E an' Marsc Jeems Is all uv de ole 

iVl stock dat's lef," said Uncle Ben, 
an ex-slave of the Morrow family, of Provi- 
dence township. 

" Yes, Miss Lizzie, she's dald, an' ole 
Marster, he's gone to jine her. It's des me 
an' Marse Jeems, an' he's in furrin parts. 
He sole de ole farm, all cep'n' dis here little 
spot dat he lef fur me an' Ellen. An' Ellen, 
she's dald an' de ole nigger's by hissef. 

" Dey ain't no foks lak dem here now. 
De times is done changed. Me an' Marse 
Wash wuz de big uns here when he wuz 
livin*. All dis Ian' an' dese farms belonged 
to him. But Marse Jeems he's done come to 
be er fine doctor, an' stays in New York. 

*' Evybudy's gone an' lef me. 

" De horses an' de houns, too, dey're all 

" I guess I ain't here fur long, but I sho' 


2 Tar Heel Tales 

wouF lak to see ole Marster, an^ Miss Lizzie, 
an' Sam, an' Cindy, an' Mollie, de bosses, an' 
Joe, Jerry, Loud, Dinah, Sing, an' Hannah, 
de dogs." 

The old darkey was on his death bed. He 
spoke in a weak but charming voice. His 
mind was wandering, returning to the past. 
He had been his old master's hunting com- 
panion, his whipper-in, and their black and 
tan hounds were famous for speed, casting 
ahead at a loss and hard driving. They 
could catch a red fox or make him take to 
the earth. 

Old Ben was a hunter from his heart. 
He loved the running dog, the fast horse and 
the chase. The pleasant days of years long 
since passed were coming back to him. He 
longed for one more run with the old Mor- 
row hounds. Those who watched by the 
death bed in the little cabin, waiting for the 
final summons, listened to Ben's stories of 
the past. Dr. Smith had telegraphed for 
Dr. James Morrow, the last of his family, 
and told him that the old man wanted to see 

Uncle Ben's Last Fox Race 3 

him and say good-bye. Loyal to the last the 
young master was hurrying from the North 
to the old home place to be present when the 
faithful servant departed this life. He had 
asked Dr. Smith to make the last hours as 
comfortable as possible and to gratify Uncle 
Ben's every wish. 

It was almost midnight that October day; 
the moon was shining gloriously, the ground 
damp from recent rain and the weather 
fine for a fox hunt. The scenting conditions 
were well-nigh perfect. Dr. Morrow had 
just arrived, but old Ben did not know him. 

" Yes, sir, Marse Wash, all's ready fur de 
hunt,'' said the negro In his delirium. 

" Ever thing's right an' ole Hannah's been 
clawin' at my do' fur de las' hour. She's 
mighty anxious to try dat ole Stinson fiel' fox 
dis evnin'. De horses Is done saddled an' 
nothin' to do but start. 

" Des listen at Sing an' Jerry, dey's powful 
anxious to go ! " 

It was pathetic to hear the old fellow talk- 
ing to his master who had been dead many 
years, but he seemed happy. There was no 

4 Tar Heel Tales 

way to stop him If those there should have 
desired to do so. 

" Blow yo' horn, boss, an' let Marse Sam 
Stitt jine us ef he will. Dat'll do, I hear 'im. 
He's comin'." 

For a time Uncle Ben was quiet. His 
lips worked and he seemed to be talking to 
himself. But, after a long silence, he lifted 
his head from the pillow and exclaimed: 
"Listen! Listen, Marse Wash! Hear dat 
bark? Dat's ole Sly, Marse Sam's Georgy 
dog. She's done slip in dere an' strike er 
head uv ole Hannah I 

"Listen! Hear her callln'? Marse Wash, 
dat Sly looks lak er steppin' dog an' she sho' 
is gwlne to give Joe some hard runnin' dis 
mornin' ef we jump dat Stinson fox. 

" Listen, listen, listen, Marse Wash, I hear 
our dogs puttin' in! Dere's ole Sing, ole 
Loud and Joe. It's time fur dat fox to walk 
erway now, ole Joe ain't in no foolln' way 
to-night. He sho' Is ready to run. Listen, 
Marse Wash, you hear him callln'." 

Uncle Ben dropped back on the pillow, and 
rested a few minutes. Everybody In the 

Uncle Ben's Last Fox Race J. 

room was silent. It seemed only an hour or 
so. The old man had run his race and his 
time had come. 

"Hear dat, Marse Wash? Listen how 
dat Georgy lady's slngin' in dere. She an' 
ole Joe's neck to neck. Deyer comin' down 
thu de Hartls woods now an' 'tain't gwine to 
be long till dey make dat fox run. Ef it's 
de ole Stinson fox dey'll 'roust him in de Rea 
pastur'. Dat's whay he's feedin' dis time er 

" Dat's it ! Listen, you hear ole Loud 
crossin' dat hill? He's scoutin' now. De 
fus' thing you know he'll be right behint dat 
rascal. He ain't sayin' much, but he's movin' 

" Dat's Joe fallin' In, an' Jerry, an' 

" Deyer all crossin' to de pastur. Dat's 
whay ole Stinson Fiel' do his eatin' 'bout dis 
time. Well, ef he's in dere to-night you'll 
hear dem dogs cry out lak dey wuz mad 

At irregular Intervals the old darkey would 
stop and catch his breath. There was a 

6 Tar Heel Tales 

smile upon his face and spirit in his voice. 
Death came on and he was having his last 
fox chase. The old Morrow hounds trailed 
the famous Stinson Field fox and were about 
to make a jump. Capt. Sam Stitt's dogs 
were putting in and the quality of a new 
hound would be tested. The contest prom- 
ised to be exciting. 

" Hear dat Sly, wid dat chop, chop bark, 
an* er sort uv er squeal! She's right wid 
ole Joe. 

" Listen, Marse Wash, ole Loud's done 
driv him out! 

" Des listen how he's shoutin' ! 

" Dey's gone toads de Big Rock an' dey 
sho' is flyin'. Ef it's "de ole fiel' feller he'll 
drap erroun' by de Cunnigin place des to let 
'em know dat he's up an' doin' an den he'll 
come back dis way. 

" Whoopee, but ain't dey movin' ! Listen 
at ole Joe wid his ' yowl ' holler. He's des 
kickin' dust in de faces uv de res' uv dem 

'* Yes, sir, he's gone right square to dat 

Uncle Ben's Last Fox Race 7 

Cunnigin place. It's ole Stinson an' he's 
walkln' erbout. 

" I des kin hear 'em. Dey's sucklin' 'roun 
de ole house now." 

There was a break In the story. Uncle 
Ben stopped to rest. The dogs had gone out 
of his hearing. 

" Listen, Marse Wash, dey're comin' back! 
Ole Joe's runnin' lak he's skeered. Some 
dog mus' be crowdin' him? Yes, sir, It's de 
Stinson fox, an' he's comln' dis way. See, 
comin' over de hill? Dat's him ! Look how 
he's lopin'I He knows dat ole Joe ain't 
arter no foolin' dis night. 

"See, yonder's de dogs! Dey're travlln' 
arter him. Look at dat pale red houn'! 
Dat's Sly, an' she's steppin' lak de groun' 
wuz hot! She ain't givin' ole Joe time to 
open his mouf wide. I knowed some dog 
wuz pushin' him. 

"Here dey come down to de branch! 
Ain't dey movin'? Dey're goin' to de Har- 
tls woods, an' on toads Providence church. 
But ain't dey flyin' ? I dis kin hear dem I " 

8 Tar Heel Tales 

As the dogs went out of hearing toward 
the east the old hunter lay back and hushed 
his tongue. He was running the race that 
he had run many times before. 

" Listen, Marse Wash, I hear 'em crossin' 
de Providence road, comin' back. Dey're 
drivin' to kill ole Stinson now. I 'clar' fo' 
de Lawd I never heered dat Joe run lak he's 
runnin' dis night. He's almos' flyin'. 

" But hush, listen, don't you hear dat 
' Whoo-ark, whoo-ark, whoo-ark ' in dere? 
Dat's Sly, an' she sho' is shovin' dat fox an' 
crowdin' Joe. 

"Hear dat? She's crossin' de big hill 

" Dey're tumin' ! He's makin' fur de Big 
Rock, but he ain't gut time to make it. 

" Listen, Marse Wash, dat Georgy dog's 
'bout to outdo ole Joe ! She's comin' lak de 
wind. I don't hear ole Joe. He won't bark 
ef he gits behind. He mus' be tryin' to head 
off dat Sly bitch. 

" Look! Yon dey go 'cross de cotton fiel' 
an' Joe an' Sly is side to side. 

Uncle Ben's Last Fox Race 9 

" Whoopee, ain't dey goin' ? Ole Joe sho' 
is doin' about, but Sly's on his heels. 

" Dey's goin' to ketch dat fox. Git up 
Sam an' less see 'em kill him ! Go on I 
Come on, Marse Wash! " 

For the first time during the night the 
old darkey became very much excited and 
jumped and surged in the bed. Those near 
tried to calm him. But the race was almost 
over. Uncle Ben's summons had come. The 
angel of death was at the door. 

*' Look, Marse Wash, ole Joe's In de lead. 
He sees dat fox an' he's done lef Sly. He's 
runnln' fur blood. 

"See him! Look! Look! Ole Stinson 
Fiel's 'bout to git to de thicket! See, he 
can't make it ! Joe's grabbin' at him ! Look ! 

That was all. Uncle Ben was giving up 
the ghost. Death came on him. The final 
summons had arrived. As old Joe bore 
down the fox the faithful servant of the Mor- 
row family passed away. As the end drew 
nigh Dr. Morrow and Dr. Smith and other 

lo Tar Heel Tales 

friends who had assembled around the bed 
stood near and watched the light go out. 
Everything around was still. Death was 

The remains were buried in the Morrow 
family's private burial grounds. Ben was 
the last of the old slave stock. In his de- 
lirium he had called back his old master, the 
old horses and the old hounds, and died hap- 
py in the delusion. 

Aunt Matt. 


<CTT THAT about your husband and the 
VV ' forty acres and the mule,' Aunt 
Matt?" asked the ruddy-faced young man 
who had just arrived from the city to visit 
his father and mother at the old home place 
on the farm. 

" It's fine weather, Mister Eddie, an' de 
cotton an' de corn is des growin' a Inch or 
two ever' night," said Matt Tite, a tall, thin- 
faced negress of the ante-bellum type, smil- 

" Don't evade the question, Matt ; tell these 
boys about Tite and the carpet-baggers," In- 
sisted the visitor. " Out with it, I want to 
hear the story again." 

" Chile, ain't you never gwine to fergit 
dat? I walked eight miles to git here to see 
you, but ef I'd er knowed dat you wuz gwine 
to pester me 'bout Tite an' de Ku Kluxes I 
sho' wouldn't a come. 


12 Tar Heel Tales 

" Vs done fergit de pertlclers uv dat story." 

" You know enough to make it interesting; 
tell it." 

" Titers done fergit de forty acres an' de 
mule, an' ef I des wanter have er fight, let me 
mention it In his presence. 

" You know TIte wuz one uv Marse John 
Robinson's niggers 'fo' s'render. Marse 
John wuz a powerful big man In dem times 
ef he is po' now. He had lots uv Ian' an' 
niggers, an' wuz mighty good to his slaves. 
Tite wuz a good nigger, an' Marse John 
laked him, an' arter de war he stay on at de 
ole place an' seem satisfied till dem cearpet- 
baggers (dat's what de white folks called 
dem) fust come sneakin' around, puttin' de 
devil in de niggers' hald, promlsin' all kinds 
uv things, an' given dem nuthin' but trou- 

" 'Twuz soon arter s'render when me an' 
Tite married. I had b'longed to Marse 
Jeems Walkup, an' a mighty good man, too, 
he wuz. When I marry Tite I move to de 
Robinson place to live wid him, an' we all git 
'long fine fur a while. Tite he wucked 'bout 

Forty Acres and a Mule 13 

de farm an' I hep 'roun' de Big House. Ole 
Miss Jane done say dat she been wantin' me 
fur de longes' sort uv time. 

" One night, when me an' Tite start 'way 
fum de kitchen, I seed a rabbit cross de road 
in front uv us, an' I 'low right den dere wuz 
bad luck ahead fur him an' me. Ole Missus 
uster say ef a rabbit cross yo' path somefin' 
bad woul' sho' happen to you. 

" Sho' nuff, chile, hit done come. Bad 
times 'gin on dat plantation an' 'roun' dat 
neighborhood dat very night. When me an' 
Tite git home dar come 'long a strange white 
man, lookin' lak er peddler, totin' a police 
on his arm. Comin' nigh he say to me an' 
Tite, ^ Howdy-do, Miss Robinson an' Mr. 

" I look 'roun' to see ef Ole Marses an'' 
Missus wuz dere, fur I knowed we wuz no 
* Miss Robinson ' an' * Mr. Robinson.' But, 
bless yo' sole, honey, he wuz talkin' to nobudy 
but me an' Tite. I look at de man spicious 
lak right den, an' kinder git skeered. He 
'gin to talk 'bout sellin' us some specs an' 
julery, an' sich lak, but soon he tell Tite dat 

14 Tar Heel Tales 

he's sont dere fum de Norf to talk 'bout de 
comin' 'lection. He 'low dat he's been heer- 
in' 'bout TIte, an' tell him dat he's one of de 
big niggers uv de country ef he des only 
knowed it. Tite he say nuthin' but de white 
man des keep on an' on. 

" * Yes,' 'low de man, * dey tells me dat 
you's one uv de mos' prominent cul'ud gen- 
tlemens in dis section uv de country. I knows 
dat's so fur you looks smarter dan de res' I's 
seed down here ! ' 

" I seed Tite swell up a little when de man 
tell him dat. Niggers' haids des lak white 
folks', dey gits mighty big sometime. 

" * Well, Mr. Robinson, dere's a better day 
comin' fur you an' Miss Robinson,' 'clared de 
white man. 

" * I's des film de Norf, an' come to fetch 
you good tidens. By dis time of coase you 
knows who yo' frien's is. You had slav'ry; 
you's gut freedum. Dat's not all, ef de 'Pub- 
likins gits in dis time you's gwine to have 
some uv dis Ian'. Yes, you's gwine to have 
forty acres uv Ian' an' a mule to wuck it wid. 

Forty Acres and a Mule 15 

You, TIte Robinson, Is to have de pic' uv de 
lot fur you's gut so much sense.' 

" Dat man sho' did have a sharp tongue, 
an' knowed how to please a nigger. Tite's 
eyes git mighty big while he talk 'bout de Ian' 
an' de mule. But all de time I wuz lookin' 
at dat man an' de way he dress. He look 
lak a bad man. Me an' TIte wuz not use to 
calls fum white men. No spectable white 
person prowled 'bout 'mong de niggers look- 
In' dat way. But 't'wuz none uv my bizness 
to meddle wid him an' TIte. So I says nuth- 
In' an' he goes on wid his putty talk. 

" After while he say to TIte : * Come in- 
side an' make a light; I's gut some pitchers 
to show you an' Miss Robinson.' 

" Dat wuz mos' too much fur me, but I 
^darsen' cheep. TIte he goes In an' lights de 
torch an' de man he opens up his police an' 
takes out some pitchers. De fust ones had 
niggers wid chains on, an' de overseer wid his 
whup. Indeed, sir, dem pitchers had de po' 
darkey in a bad place. De man say dat's 
de way It wuz in slav'ry time. Den he fotch 

1 6 Tar Heel Tales 

out some wid Mr. Nigger dressed up In fine 
clothes, wid yaller buttons, dis what de nig- 
ger laks. Bless me, ef he didn't have one 
wid Tite on a big chestnut boss, ridin' 'roun' 
de farm. It look so much lak de nigger dat 
I des laugh out loud. An' Tite he grin all 
over de face. 

*' ' Dat's de way Tite's gwine to look after 
de 'lection,' said de man. ' Dat's ef de 'Pub- 
likins git In.' 

*' Chile, dat wuz a powful talkin' man. His 
tongue go dis lak it wuz loose at both een's. 
When he shet up his police, after givin' Tite 
some pitchers to put on de mantel boa'd, he 
take de breff fum me by axin' ef he kin stay 
all night. Tite wuz so stuck on him dat he 
say ' all right.' So he stay, but slip out 'fo' 
day nex' mornin'. 

" Dat talk an' dem pitchers stir Tite all up. 
He's not de same nigger no mo'. De nex' 
day he wuz mean to me, * cause he seed fum 
de color In my eye dat I lak no sich doln's, 
an' he had some words wid Marse John. 
'Deed, sir, he wuz des lak er stubborn mule. 
Nobudy coul' do nuthin' wid him. I tole him 

Forty Acres and a Mule 17 

dat he'd better quit foolin' wid po' white 
trash, fur you git nuthin' in dis worl' 'cepin' 
whut you wuck fur. But Tite he wuz done 
gone 'stracted on de forty acres an' de mule. 
He des look at hissef on dat big boss an' 

" Matt, do you really think Tite believed 
he would get the land and mule?" 

" Coase he did! " declared the old woman 
with considerable spirit. 

** De same white man meet Tite an' talk 
agin, but dat time I wuz away an' hear nuth- 
in' uv It. Tite soon 'gin to talk 'bout callin' 
a meetin' uv de niggers. Mo' strange nig- 
gers dan I ever seed befo' come dere to 
talk wid him, an' dey all act mighty bigity 

" Yes, sir, Tite wuz de big nigger in dem 
parts. Whatever he said de 'tuther niggers 
done. De 'lection come nigher an' Tite gits 
mo' triflin' 'bout wuckin' fur de white folks. 
Him an' Marse John had a dispute an' Marsc 
John knock him down wid a stick. Talkin' 
woul' do no good. De crowds uv niggers 
kep' gittin' bigger an' bigger an' mo' strange 

1 8 Tar Heel Tales 

white mens come to see Tite, an' dey all'ers 
sneak In at night. 

" De white folks lak Marse John and 
Marse Jeems Walkup 'gin to git tired uv all 
dis foolishness. Dey hold a meetin' dem- 
selves, at Marse John's, an' 'scuss how to 
keep de cearpet-baggers off uv deyer farms an' 
git de niggers back to wuck. 

" But, Lawd bless yo' soul, honey, 'bout 
dIs time TIte cut de highes' buck uv all an' 
have Marse John 'rested an' carried to town 
fur hittin' him. Yes, sir, a man wid blue suit 
an' brass buttons come an' git Marse John 
an' take him to Charlotte 'fo' dat Freedman's 
Bureau. You orter heerd de niggers an' 
white foks cryin', an' seen 'em takin' on when 
de officer driv' off wid Marse John. Ole 
Missus took It mighty hard, so she did, an' I 
wuz des as mad es I coul' be. I knowed dat 
de devil wuz to pay den, fur de white foks 
wuzn't gwlne to put up wid no sich es dat. 
Deyer day wuz comin' agin." 

"Did they put Grandpa in jail?" asked 
one of the excited children. 

" No, honey, but dey mos' done it. Marse 

Forty Acres and a Mule 19 

John come back de very nex' day, but he 
wuzn't de same man. He done gut mad an' 
all de res' uv de white foks wid him. 'Deed, 
sir, dey wuz tired foolin' wid dem cearpet- 
baggers, an' Marse John make Tite git out 
uv his house de fust thing when he come 
back, an' to tell de truf I didn't blame him 
one bit, fur dat nigger wuz des so mean dat 
nobudy coul' git on wid him. Ole Miss Jane 
wuz pow'ful sorry fur me but I had to go wid 
Tite. We rented a house fum a town man, 
an' move in. We wuz back fum de road an' 
'way fum de white foks. I never seed sich 
a nigger es Tite; every day he wuz wusser 
dan de day befo'. Fum 'soclatin' wid dem 
cearpet-baggers he gut high up. Dey done 
fill his ole kinky haid wid highferlutin' talk 
an' idees. Every udder night he wuz at some 
nigger mefetin', stayin' till 'fo' day in de mom- 
in'. You woul' never know when an' where 
dey wuz gwine to meet but dere wuz all'ers 
lots uv 'em dere. Sometimes dey'd meet at 
my house an' it woul'n't hold 'em all. De 
way dem niggers talk when dey meet I des 
knowed somefin' bad wuz boun' to happen. 

20 Tar Heel Tales 

** Now an' den, when Tite wuz off polltl- 
cin\ I woul' slip off an' go see Miss Jane, an* 
hear whut de white peoples wuz doin'. Den I 
beg Tite to let politicin' 'lone an' stay at 
home, but, no, sir, he knowed his bizness. 
His haid wuz sot on dat forty acres an' de 
mule, an' I coul'n't do nuthin' wid him. 

" One day Miss Jane read fum de paper 
whut de Ku Kluxes wuz doin' to niggers down 
in Souf Careliny. You know where 'tis : des 
over de line down here 'bout three mile? 
De piece say dat dey wuz comin' dis way. 
She 'low dat de doin's uv mean niggers wuz 
gwine to fetch 'em here. 

" An' let me tell you, chilluns, it wuzn't 
long 'fo' dey come an' 'putty nigh skeered de 
niggers to deaf. 

" But, 'fo' dey come Tite done run plum 
mad on de subjec' uv de 'lection. I beg him 
to stop dat foolin' an' go back to wuck, but 
he des go on lak he never heerd me. Why, 
honey, de fool nigger done 'gin to think he's 
gwine to be Gov'ner. De wust ain't come 
yit, fur one day a white man come 'long an' 
giv' Tite what he say wuz a deed fur Marse 

Forty Acres and a Mule 21 

John's mill place. Es he giv' de paper to 
Tite he say: ' Mr. Robinson (talkin' to no- 
budy but TIte), here's de deed to de mill 
place an' you kin have It surveyed as soon as 
you laks, fur de 'lection Is mos' here an' 
'twon't be long 'fo' you kin git dem forty 
acres an' de mule.' 

" Tite, he take It an' hide It under a rock. 
I seed him lookin' at It, des lak he coul' read, 
when he know he don't know B fum bull- 
foot. One day, while Tite wuz In Charlotte, 
I slip de deed out fum under de log where 
he hid It, an' took it over to Miss Jane an' 
she say It read lak dis: * Es Samson, lifted 
de serpent out uv de wilderness so I lifted 
dis po' nigger out uv $5.' 

*' Tite done giv' de man $5 fur drawin' de 
deed, an' he sho' did think It wuz er deed fur 
de mill place, an', 'cordin'ly, he an' another 
nigger sneak down one day, while Ole Mars- 
ter wuz in Souf Careliny, an' lay off whut 
he want an' put up rocks to mark de corners. 
Soon after de 'lection Tite an' de yudder nig- 
gers uv de Robinson settlement wuz to go to 
town an' git de mules an', bein' as Tite wuz 

22 Tar Heel Tales 

a leader, he wuz gwine to have a fine hoss to 
boot. De cearpet-baggers done tell dem dat 
dey woul' have several thousan' mules fur de 
niggers in de county. 'Fo' dat, one night, 
Tite done come in wid a long coat wid shiny 
buttons, an' a stovepipe hat. You orter seed 
dat nigger how he swell 'roun' 'fo' me, but 
de mo' he git fur nuthing de mo' trouble I 
seed fur him. I 'spect'd trouble every day. 
It des look to me lak de worl' wuz comin' to 
de een. All de time Miss Jane kep' tellin' 
me 'bout de Kluxes comin' nigher. An', 
bless yo' soul, honey, one mornin' all de nig- 
gers 'long de big road wuz stirred up 'bout cr 
percession dey had seed de night befo'. Dey 
say dat de bigges' men dey ever see come 
'long ridin' camels lak dey have in de show. 
Whutever it wuz didn't make no fuss but 
move easy des lak a cat after er rat. De 
mens coul' stretch deyer necks way up in de 
trees, an' drink a whole bucket uv water at a 

" 'Fo' de day passed we heerd 'bout de 
same crowd goin' to ole Joe Grier's home 
an' takin' him out an' beatin' his back wid 

Forty Acres and a Mule 23 

a buggy trace. Yes, sir, dey say It wuz a 
shame de way dey do dat nigger, but he'd 
been medlln' des lak TIte. Dey kotch him 
makin' a speech at one uv dem nigger meetings 
an' dey bus' his high hat (one lak TIte's) all 
to flinders. An' dey say when dey lef derc 
dat ole TIte Robinson wuz de nex' nigger 
dey woul' git. When TIte hear' dat he git 
sorter shaky, but 'low, big lak, dat dey wuz 
foolln' wid de wrong nigger. He make out 
lak he's gwine to fite. 

" Dat very night TIte wuz gwlne to have 
a big meetin', de las' 'fo' de 'lection, at Plnc- 
ville chuch. It wuz to be de bigges' uv all 
but when de niggers hear 'bout de Ku Kluxes 
dey gut skittish 'bout gittin' out after dark. 
TIte an' de rest uv de ringleaders went but 
dey didn't have much uv a crowd. De pews 
uv de chuch wuzn't full lak dey had been. 
Yes, sir, de audience wuz rather slim fur de 
'caslon. But TIte wuz dere In all his glory, 
an' de boss dog uv de yard. Howsomever, 
when he lef home dat night he wuz sorter 
quiet lak. He 'peered to be a little oneasy. 
I wuz monstrous anxious 'bout him fur I 

24 Xar Heel Tales 

knowed de Kluxes wuz In de Ian'. I didn't 
want Tite to git hurt but I didn't care much ef 
de Kluxes skeered dem fool idees out uv his 
haid, so he coul' have some sense once mo'." 

" Did they get him, Aunt Matt? " asked a 
small boy who had become thoroughly inter- 

" Honey, dat's de night de devil broke 
loose," said Matt. " I des felt lak somefin' 
wuz gwine to drap, an' sho' nuff it did. 

*' Soon after Tite lef de house de elements 
gut wrong. De clouds gather'd thick an' 
hang mighty low in de Wes'. I coul' hear 
de thunderin' an' see de lightnin'. I never 
seed sich a dark night. But, after de bigges' 
rain dat I ever seed fell, de clouds 'clare 'way 
an' de moon come out. 

" When Tite wuz gone an' de rain wuz 
over I went to sleep an' knowed no mo' till I 
heerd peoples talkin' an' cussin', an' it soun' 
des lak dey wuz outside my do'. It wuz 
den after midnight, I spec'. I coul' hear de 
low whisperin' voices on fust one side uv de 
house, den de tuther. I heerd horses movin' 
'bout, an' den I knowed dat It wuz de Ku 

Forty Acres and a Mule IJ 

Kluxes. I heerd one man say: * Well, 
we'll go In here an' see ef de black rascaPs 
come yit. But I don't see how he coul' uv 
haided us off.' 

" 'Bout dat time dere wuz a tap on de do', 
an' a call, ' Matt, open de do'. We want to 
see If TIte's In dere. We won't hurt you ef 
you let us In, an' ef you don't we are comin' 
In anyhow. We'll break de do'.' 

*' I wuz wide awake but say nuthin'. 

"'Matt! Matt! Don't you hear? ' I 
coul'n't tell de voice but I knowed ef I didn't 
open de do' dey woul' break It down; so I 
open It an' git back In bed. When de do' 
come open It peered to me lak I seed a whole 
lot uv bosses In de road an' lots uv men In 
de yard, dressed In red shirts an' had on dese 
here false faces. I wuz skeered an' den I 
wuzn't, fur de man whut do de talkin' had a 
mighty fermllyer lak voice to me, but I des 
coul'n't say who's It wuz. Dey peered to 
b'lleve me when I told 'em dat TIte wuzn't 
dere, but dey searched anyhow to make sar- 

" After dey can't find him an' dey start out 

26 Tar Heel Tales 

de man what spoke befo' say : * Well, Matt, 
we give de ole devil a good run, an' would've 
swung him up ef we'd ketched him, but it's 
late now an' we'd better go.' 

" Den I say: ' Please, marster, don't kill 
him fur he's des gone crazy 'bout dis here 
'lection bizness what dem strange white foks 
put in his haid. Don't, boss man, fur my 
sake, kill de ole nigger. He'll come right. 
I's tried to git him to stay at home. Now 
des let me try him one mo' time.' Ax Marse 
John Robinson an' Marse Jeems Walkup 
'bout Matt. Dey knows me. I's been good 
since s'render, an' I's tried to make Tite be- 
have hissef. So, Mister, won't you let him 
off dis time? ' 

" De same man what spoke befo' 'low: 
* Well, boys, I b'lieve dis is a good nigger, 
an' on her 'count we'll let de Parson 'lone fur 
a few days an' see. Ef we hear uv any mo' 
uv his doin's, 'citin' de niggers an' makin' 
speeches, we'll do him des lak we did Ole 
Joe Grier, or wuss. Ef he hadn't run lak 
er deer t'night, we'd broke his neck. Let's 
go back to Souf Careliny, an' res'.' 

Titej riding a Democratic Ox. 

Forty Acres and a Mule 27 

" Dis said, dey rode off. I wuz skeered 
dat TIte wuz daid, an' coul'n't sleep no mo' 
dat night, but wuz too bad 'frighten' to git 

*' Way in de mornin', toge day, when 
all gits quiet, I heered a soft knock at de do'. 
I knowed it mus' be Tite, so I gits up an' 
opens it, an' sho' nuff it wuz him. 

" Honey, you woul'n't knowed dat nigger. 
He wuz wet an' muddy fum de bottom uv his 
feets up. He wuz bare haided an' his clothes 
all tore. But, bless yo' soul, chile, he wuz 
glad to git home. When I open de do' he 
say, * Let me in, ole 'oman, fur I's mos' daid. 
De Ku Kluxes is been runnin' me all night. 
Don't make no fuss, but lem'me in.' 

" Skeered as I wuz when I seed him I had 
to laugh. He look' des lak a frizzly chicken 
wid de feathers turned de wrong way, an' 
wuz des tremblin' lak a leaf. Ever time I 
move my foot he jump lak he wuz hit, but 
when I tell him what de Kluxes say to me he 
'clare, ' Thank Gawd, Matt, ef dat be so I's 
yo' nigger so long as I live. You ain't gwine 
to kietch me foolin' wid po' white foks an' 

28 iTar Heel Tales 

politics no mo'. Dis is my las' time. I's 
never been so skeered since de Lawd made 

" Yes, sir, an' dat wuz his las' meetin', an' 
when dem cearpet-baggers come sneakin' 
'roun'^ at night he made me drive dem way 
des es same as ef dey had pizen. He went 
straight to wuck an' fum dat day to dis he's 
been quiet on politics. 

" But it wuz a long time 'fo' I knowed 
what happened at de chuch dat night. Tite 
woul'n't never talk 'bout It. Miss Jane 
heered all de fac's an' tell me. 

" It wuz lak dis. You's been to Pineville 
chuch — I mean de col'ud chuch — de one 
dat sets on de big hill. At de time when 
Tite wuz flyin' so high no white pusson lived 
close to de chuch. All de Ian' 'bout dere 
wuz in woods. De chuch is gut two do's, 
one in de side an' one at de een where de 
pulpit Is. It wuz a good thing fur Tite dat 
de een do' wuz dere. Dat's all dat saved 
his life. 

" Tite an' his niggers wuz at de chuch dat 
night an' had de meetin' gwine at nine. De 

Forty Acres and a Mule 29 

onlies' lamp In de house wuz on de pulpit. 
TIte wuz de fust speaker fur de 'casslon. He 
wuz to stir up de niggers fur de 'lection day. 
Dem cearpet-baggers done told him what to 

" De niggers all holler fur Parson Robin- 
son an' TIte step up In de pulpit an' take off 
his stovepipe hat, set It on de table, button 
up his long coat, an' start off lak dis : 
* Gents an' Feller Citizens: Fs come here to- 
night to tell you dat de nigger's 'bout to git 
what b'longs to 'em. De white foks Is been 
, on top long 'nuff. Ef de 'Publlklns wins dIs 
time ever nigger in dis house is gwlne to git 
forty acres uv de bes' Ian' In dis kermunity 
an' a mule to wuck It wid.' 

" ' Fur nuthin', Mr. Robinson ? ' 'low' Ole 
, Tom Moore. 

"*Yes, Mr. Moore, fur nuthin', fur It 
b'longs to 'em. Dat's de truf. Fs done 
gut de deed fur mine, an' all Fs gut to do Is 
to move on after de 'lection, an' go to town 
an' git my mule.' 

" ' Dat's de truf,' shouted Ole Bill Davis, 
a deekin In de chuch. 

30 Tar Heel Tales 

" ' Tell It to 'em, brother I Come on wid 
some mo' lak dat I ' 

" * Dat's whut we wants to heer,' said dc 

" TIte went on : * But on de yudder han', 
ef de Demmycrats gits back in power, de las' 
one uv you will go bac' in slav'ry. De over- 
seer wid his whup will be back. Mark whut 
I say fur it's de truf ! ' 

" ' We know it. Parson, tell it des lak it 

" But, bless yo' soul, honey, dis is where 
de speakin' wuz out. While Tite wuz soar- 
in' high 'mong de clouds, 'bout a dozen great 
big mens, wid masses on deyer faces, an' red 
shirts on deyer bodies, sprung up des lak fum 
de yearth an' march down de middle aisle uv 
de chuch an' take seats on de long bench in 
front uv de pulpit. Nobudy but Tite say 
nuthin', an' he chatter des lak he's crazy. 
His voice trem'le so it almos' shake de house. 
At fust his tongue mos' stop, but when he 
seed de strange men cross deyer legs an' look 
up at him, he say dat he's gut nuthin' 'ginst 

Forty Acres and a Mule 31 

de white foks, an' he seed no use in freedum 

" ' Dere wuz a little shufflin' In de back uv 
de bulldin'. It wuz Tom Moore, Bill Davis 
an' other niggers pilln' out. 

" 'Bout dis time come de straw dat broke 
de camel's bac'. De big mens uncross deyer 
legs, all at one time, an' each one pull out 
a long knife an' a whit rock an commence to 
sharpen de blades, des lak dey wuz fixin' to 
kill hogs. De shinin' steel dumbfounded 
TIte. Big draps uv sweat come out on his 
haid. When de red shirt mens see how 
skeered de po' nigger Is dey soun' deyer 
blades on de rocks an' TIte mos' jump out 
uv his skin. He fust look at de mens an' den 
at de bac' do'. His tongue done stick to de 
roof uv his mouf, but he muster up courage 
to say: ' I see dat you darkies didn't fetch 
no water fur me to drink. I can't speak wid- 
out water, so I'll des git a little at de well.' 

" Dis said, TIte dash out de back do' wld- 
out his hat an' de Ku Kluxes give a wild In- 
jln yell an' charge out de side do'. 

32 Tar Heel Tales 

" But, chile, you can't ketch a skeered nig- 
ger, an' it's no use to try. 'Fo' de Kluxes 
git started Tite wuz gone. 

" Tite never did git de forty acres an' de 
mule. Ef he did I never seed it, an' I's been 
livin' wid him ever since." 

Later, when Grover Cleveland ran for 
President, Tite rode in a Democratic pro- 
cession, mounted on an ox, and wearing a 
Cleveland hat. 


«^/^OME here, Judge," said Col. Tom 

V->i Black, the big, blonde policeman, of 
the Charlotte force, as a black, sleek, shaggy 
water spaniel started across Independence 
Square. " You've got no business over there; 
come here." 

Officer Will Pitts, who was by Col. Black's 
side at the time, volunteered: "That is an 
affectionate pair — Col. Black and Judge — 
they like each other; they tramp the same 
beat together every night the colonel Is on 

" That's no He," put In Col. Black, " that 
dog Is as regular as a clock. He comes to 
headquarters just before twelve and patrols 
with the boys till they go off In the morning. 
He has sense like a man; I never saw such an 
intelligent animal. 

" Look at that large head, those big, bright 


'34 Tar Heel Tales 

eyes and that splendid nose! Judge's no 

" He's got sense enough to vote for mayor. 
That's the gospel truth." 

Pitts acquiesced in everything the colonel 
said, and moved around like a caged animal 
while Judge was being discussed. He is very 
fond of the dog. 

Judge is a Dr. JekyI and Mr. Hyde dog. 
During the day, when all honest beings go 
about and care not who observes them and 
their manners, Judge plays the part of Dr. 
Jekyll, serving as a watchdog for his rightful 
master. Dr. George W. Graham, and enliven- 
ing the premises by a cheerful bark or warn- 
ing growl. All friends of the family are as 
welcome to the place as the gentle south 
winds of summer, but an enemy is driven out. 

Who, that strolls about the town, viewing 
the pretty homes, has not seen Judge, trotting 
about the Graham yard, at the corner of Sev- 
enth and Church streets, switching his bushy 
tail and smiling out of his great brownish 
mellow eyes at all attractive persons as they 

The Spaniel and the Cops 35 

That is his best side. 

But, at that very moment, Judge is play- 
ing the hypocrite, just as well as a deceitful 
man would do. All is fair and bright, and 
Judge greets you with a hearty shake of the 
tail, beaming face and dancing eyes, delighted 
to please one and all, knowing that his proud 
master is watching him through the window. 
If his behavior is excellent, his dinner will be 
something out of the ordinary; a rare slice' 
of beef, or a bit of cake, and Pussy will not 
get all the cream. 

Judge comes to just conclusions. He fools 
the folks at home seven days in the week, 
being a past master at wool-pulling. When 
Dr. Graham goes home at night, tired and 
depressed from a hard day's work, Judge, 
tactful dog that he is, rushes out to meet him. 

Such capers he does cut, barking, cutting 
somersaults, and jumping around like wild; 
his joy unconfined. Dr. Graham tarries for 
a few minutes to play with him, and if you 
chance to hear the racket, you think that 
two gay school children have taken possession 
of the lawn. If Judge has an axe to grind 

36 Tar Heel Tales 

— an extra large cavity In his bread-basket, 
or desires to slip away unnoticed earlier than 
usual — he romps all the harder, and barks 
more boisterously. He Is a shrewd politi- 
cian. His love for Dr. Graham is sincere, 
but not as Intense as he would make him be- 
lieve. He Is not unlike the girl who marries 
one fellow for his money while she loves an- 
other; Judge prefers Col. Black, Pitts, Ser- 
geant Jetton and other members of the police 
force to his home people. 

For five years he has spent his nights with 
the night officers of the city. He knows the 
Ins and outs of the police department better 
than one or two of the bllly-toters that pass 
for policemen. For patrol duty he Is first- 
class. He can run with the flying thief, or 
jump fences with the light-footed crap-shoot- 
er, and Is always handy and willing. If a 
call comes for Black Maria, Judge Is the first 
to mount the front seat. He likes an excit- 
ing race — the faster the better. On raids, 
he Is the first to enter the house and the last 
to quit it. While the search or Investigation 
Is being made, he sits quietly by, a visiting on- 

The Spaniel and the Cops 37 

looker, interested but not active. If the of- 
ficers are compelled to run a foot-race, Judge 
takes the lead, and it is a wiry culprit that can 
out-distance him. The prisoner securely- 
fixed in the wagon. Judge takes his seat in 
front, turns his back to the horse, and faces 
the unfortunate one. He seems to delight in 
bringing offenders to justice, not cruel, but in 
full sympathy with the blue-stocking laws of 
the city. 

Once outside of his own yard, Judge as- 
sumes a dignified, stiff air, except when play- 
ing with his favorite officers. Some people 
would say that he is haughty, and at times he 
is, but if he turns up his nose at a fellow, that 
means that he considers himself superior to 
that particular wart on society, and there is 
generally a good reason for his contempt. 

Dogs do not concern Judge. He pays but 
little attention to their friendly advances or 
threatening growls. If some vicious cur 
snarls and snaps at his heels, he curls his 
fuzzy tail over his back and ignores the com- 
mon whelp ; while, on the other hand, if some 
soft-coated, gentle-mannered, pedigreed dog 

38 Tar Heel Tales 

tries to make up to him, he goes to Col. 
Black, rubs against his legs, looks up into his 
face, and declares: "What fools these ca- 
nines be I I don't care one whit for any of 

From what has already been said, one 
might conclude that Judge is a coward. 
Well, dear reader, you may disabuse your 
mind of that conclusion, for it Is wrong. 
Judge is a true North Carolinian — slow to 
anger, but fearfully courageous when in trou- 
ble. He fears no dog in town. The com- 
mon herd like to snap at him from inside a 
secure fence, as he trots by in the wake of 
Col. Black, but none would dare go near the 
open gate. Judge just ignores everything 
that keeps its distance. He has frequently 
said to the patrolmen something like this: 
*' Did you see that contemptuous scamp 
charging at me? I would not lower myself 
to fight him if he were out. I should like 
to sick old Puss on him if he'd call at my 

In order to get Judge to do battle, a dog 
must assault him. Being an officer of the 

The Spaniel and the Cops 39 

law, he lives up to the letter. If attacked, 
he fights in self-defense. It will be recalled 
that he put the little speckled bull-terrier, that 
loafed around the Gem Restaurant a few 
years ago, clear out of business for good. 
Old Speck lingered between life and death 
for two days after the affray, and then died 
from his wounds. Other dogs have fared as 
badly. Judge is slow to take hold, but when 
he does, Pitts says it's good night, Isum, for 
death will creep over the prostrate form of 
the other dog before he can stop the fight. 
That is the kind of scrapper Judge is. Like 
the man who says little, but hangs on like 
grim death. 

I have always heard it said in Providence 
that it was well to stay out of a row with the 
laughing fighter. Such a one is Judge. He 
winks his eyes and grins In the midst of the 

Col. Black has one thing against Judge. 
As Mr. Hyde he is all right, but as Dr. Jekyl 
he is high-headed and arrogant. If Judge 
goes up street with any of Dr. Graham's fam- 
ily, he refuses to recognize any police officer. 

40 Tar Heel Tales 

He carries himself far above common people 
and soars in an aristocratic atmosphere. If 
Col. Black or Mr. Pitts calls to him on the 
sly, he lifts his saucy tail a bit higher and 
gets closer to his young mistress or master, as 
the case may be, as if he feared contamination 
of some sort. In other words, Col. Black 
and his associates on the police force are 
proper company after dark, but not in day- 

Judge does not recognize them In a social 
way. As conclusive evidence on this point, 
I relate the following Incident : 

The joke is on Col. Black or Pitts. Col. 
Black claims that it is on Pitts, and Pitts that 
It is on the colonel. 

One day, several years ago, one of these 
worthy officers was sent to notify Dr. Gra- 
ham that a certain committee, of which he 
was a member, would meet that night. The 
officer went to Dr. Graham's gate, opened it, 
and started to the porch. Judge, the faith- 
ful friend of the early morning, rushed 
around the house, with bristles raised and 

The Spaniel and the Cops 41 

teeth shining, growling viciously. The of- 
ficer, seeing the threatening attitude of the 
dog, stopped, and said: " Why, Judge, don't 
you know me?" Instead of making up, 
after this, Judge became more determined to 
stop the officer. He hurried to the walk- 
way, fixed himself, and made ready for a 
stubborn resistance. 

"Judge! Judge!" said Col. Black or 
Pitts, which ever It was. But Judge heard 
him not. 

Dr. Graham, seeing the predicament of the 
officer from within the house, came out and 
assured Judge that all was well, and he 
dropped his tall, and went toward the kitchen, 
carrying an ugly case of the sulks, seeming 
badly put out because he did not get to bite 
the caller. 

At midnight of the same day. Judge joined 
Col. Black and Pitts on their rounds, as 
bright and cheerful as ever. 

The two men reasoned It out after this 
fashion : " Well, I guess he Is right. We 
are the stuff when It comes to beating around 

42 Tar Heel Tales 

the city, keeping out burglars and thieves, 
but must stay In our places. Judge thought 
we were going to make a social call." 

Judge grew greater In their estimation. 
They cursed him at first, but finally came to 
the conclusion that as Mr. Hyde he Is on an 
equality with policemen, but as Dr. Jekyl out 
of their class. 










^^TS dem putty fas' houn's, Marse Law- 


rence? " asked Uncle Simon Bolick, as 
Mr. L. A. Williamson, of Graham, Ala- 
mance county, came up with his pack of noted 
fox dogs. 

" Yes, Uncle Simon, they are the best in 
the country," was the answer. 

*' Yes, sir; I spec' dey is now, since ole 
marster's stock 's all died out. But when 
Marse Billy wuz livin' he had de steppin' 
dogs. Dey wuz de swiftes' in de Ian'. Yo' 
daddy'll tell you dat. Dey don't have houn's 
lak his'n now. Ef I coul' git some uv de ole 
Bolick breed I sho' would git on ole Beck an' 
go wid you arter Big Sandy, dat sly ole red 
dat uses in de Big Crick woods. But de las' 
uv de stock's gone. When Marse Tim lef 
here he sont Buck an' Bell, de onlies' ones 
livin', to ole man Bob Bolick, his no 'count 


44 Tar Heel Tales 

uncle, up in de Souf Mountlns. Ole Bob 
he never know'd how to care for nothin', 
much less er fine houn\ All my fo'ks is lef 
dis section. De war broke dem up an' mos' 
uv dem's in de fur Wes\ unless dey's all daid. 
But ef I had one uv dem old Bolick houn's I 
wouF show you how to ketch ole Sandy. 
Dat's de gospel truf ! " 

The old darkey was in earnest. His mem- 
ory carried him back and he lived in days 
gone by, and scoffed at the things of the pres- 
ent. Life was not as sweet to him as it had 
been when he served his owner, Colonel 
William Bolick, the famous old farmer-sport 
of Piedmont, North Carolina, for then every 
day was a holiday. He hunted and traveled 
with his master, who kept fine wines, blooded 
horses and fast dogs. Truly, those were 
glorious days for Simon, and he has never 
become reconciled to the prosaic life of free- 
dom. The Bolicks were prominent in 
North Carolina, and came from a good old 
English family. Robert, however, never did 
well and, to get rid of him, his father pur- 
chased a fertile moijntain valley farm and 

A Hound of the Old Stock 45 

sent him there to live. That suited him, for 
he had no pride and but little ambition. 

Colonel William Bolick did well until the 
civil war. Like many men of his class and 
day, however, he could not change wnth the 
times. The freeing of the negroes destroyed 
him financially, and he was never able to rally 
his fortunes. He died soon, leaving an en- 
cumbered estate and a family of boys; the 
former was sold and the boys went West. 

Old Simon, the aristocratic ex-slave, took 
up the burden of life, and went from place to 
place doing odd jobs here and there until two 
years ago, when he moved to Graham to live 
with a daughter who had saved money and 
bought a home. There he made the ac- 
quaintance of Mr. Williamson, and never 
tired of telling him about the Bolick hounds. 

A fortunate thing happened for Simon last 
fall. He was wrong in his conjecture about 
the passing of the Bolick stock. It had not 
all perished. The breed had been kept pure 
and improved by the sons of Bob Bolick. 
Some profitable crosses had been made, and 
the Bolick hounds of South Mountain were 

46 Tar Heel Tales 

even better than the ones formerly owned 
by Colonel William Bolick. They had not 
been hunted after foxes, but had run deer, 
bear, coons and wild cats. 

Zeb Bolick, the most promising son of Bob, 
heard of the old family negro at Graham. 
He found out that the Bolick hound was the 
hobby of Uncle Simon, and determined to box 
up one of the best young ones in his pack and 
send her to the old darkey. Therefore, on 
a fine day in October, he shipped Dinah, a 
well-built bitch, to Graham, at the same time 
sending the following letter to Simon : 

*' Simon, I have just sent you a hound of 
the old Bolick stock. I heard that you 
wanted one. She is untrained for foxes, but 
will run anything that leaves a scent. Accept 
her as a gift for the sake of by-gone days. I 
never saw you, but if you were raised by 
Uncle William, you are all right. I have 
named the black and tan lady Dinah. She 
looks just like old Bell, her great-great- 
grandmother, except that she is larger. She 
has raced all the flesh off of her bones, but 
that is a small matter." 

A Hound of the Old Stock 47 

Simon Bolick was the happiest negro in 
the county. He rejoiced for two reasons; 
the promise of the dog made him happy, and 
the receipt of the letter, the first one of his 
life, pleased him. He told the town of his 
good fortune, going from store to store show- 
ing his letter. It was like a dream to him, 
and he could not realize that the dog was 
actually on the way. He ran around until 
he was almost prostrate. 

For some cause Dinah was two days late 
in showing up, and It began to look as If 
somebody had been joking the old man. 

Simon had described her as a beautiful, 
gentle animal, full of life and well-bred look- 
ing, but his imagination had been too active. 
Hence, when Dinah arrived, the old darkey 
was sorely disappointed, for she was skinny, 
raw-boned and dirty, her ribs prominent and 
her back too sharp. The boys laughed and 
jeered as Simon led her along the street. 
She seemed half-starved and tried to put her 
nose into everything. If she found a morsel 
to eat she gulped It down so greedily that 
the spectators roared with delight. But 

48 Tar Heel Tales 

when safely within his own yard, the old 
negro made a thorough examination of his 
dog, and, after looking her over from nose- 
tip to tail, he spoke to himself as follows: 
" Dat ain't no bad dog ef I'm a jedge. She's 
got de same marks dat de ol' houn's had. I 
laks dem thin years, dat hump-back an' dat 
long, keen tail. All she needs Is somefin' 
to eat an' er little res'. Me an' ole Suckle 
'11 fetch her out. By de time de race arter 
Big Sandy comes off I'll have her des right, 
an' ef I ain't mightily mistaken she's gwlne 
to sho' dem yudder dogs de bottom uv her 
feets es she flies. Des es soon es she gits 
rested, I's gwlne to slip her off down to de 
crick an' hear dat mouf. Ef It soun's lak 
ole Bell, den I'll bet on her sho' nuff." 

The tongue proved right. It was loud, 
clear and horn-like and could be distinguished 
in any pack. Simon was happy. His cup 
of joy was brimful when Mr. Williamson 
sent him word that he could join him for a 
chase the first good opportunity for a night 
hunt. The old darkey could hardly wait — 
he was so anxious for the hunt. 

A Hound of the Old Stock 49 

When the eventful hour came, Simon, 
mounted on his trusty mule. Beck, with his 
master's old horn on his back, and Dinah 
trotting behind, with head and tail down, 
overtook the other hunters just out of Gra- 
ham, on the Haw River road. The night 
was fine, and the ground in first-class condi- 
tion. The atmosphere was fresh and sweet, 
after a light shower, and the weeds and grass 
sufficiently damp to hold a scent. As Simon 
rode up, Mr. Williamson remarked: 
" Well, old fellow, if Dinah has the proper 
stuff in her, and we hit old Sandy, she will 
have an opportunity to do her best to-night, 
for the weather is ideal.'* 

"Yes, sir; dat's so; Mr. Fox'll smell 
mighty good arter de little sprinkle. I ain't 
sayin' much erbout my dog yit, 'cause she 
ain't never run but one or two foxes in her 
life, but I feels lak she wuz des gwine to 
fall in wid de res' an' do her part." 

Some of the mischievous chaps in the party 
twitted the old negro about his hound, call- 
ing her " skinflint,'* " meat-catcher," " rab- 

50 Tar Heel Tales 

bit-chaser," and the like, but he laughed and 
advised them to wait and see. 

The hunters had not gone far when 
Trump, a young dog, routed a rabbit, 
and drove him flying across the road. Five 
or six puppies joined in and hurried old 
mollie-cotton-tail to the thicket of a near-by 
stream. Soon a turn was made and all came 
back. The dogs were close behind Brer 
Rabbit, and a new mouth carried the lead. 
Uncle Simon, with much joy in his heart, 
cried out: "Listen at dat horn-mouf! 
Dat's Dinah, an' she's in front ! " 

Mr. Williamson was charmed with the 
deep bark of Skinny Dinah. It was wrong 
to encourage the rabbit hunters, but the boys 
could not refrain from galloping ahead to 
see the race. Dinah was literally splitting 
the wind. She did not tarry or linger, but 
picked up the scent here and there and has- 
tened on. Simon blew his horn and all of 
the culprits, except Dinah, came in; and her 
tongue ceased. It was surmised that she had 
caught the rabbit and was eating a second 

A Hound of the Old Stock 51 

supper. Soon she overtook her proud 
owner, her mouth blood-stained and her sides 
sticking out. The laugh was on the darkey. 

Far to the right came the melodious note 
of Trouble, the faithful old strike dog. He 
had ranged toward Bull Nose Creek and 
struck a hot scent. Mark, Mr. Williamson's 
colored valet, declared, " Dat's where dey 
strikes ole Sandy, an' Trouble knowed where 
to hit him I " 

The hunters struck a gallop and the dogs 
were " barkened " in — Jerry, Jude, Kate, 
Sing, Music, Flora, Black Bill, Red Ball, 
Trumpet and Flirt. Strive, a big, deep- 
mouthed, bob-tailed hound, opened some dis- 
tance in front of the rest. He was a fast 
trailer, making time and ground by sighting 
logs and wet places ahead and hitting here 
and there. He had good dog sense and 
knew the ways of Reynard, and, under his 
leadership, the pack soon had a running trail. 

Mark dismounted and examined the track. 
" It sho' is ole Sandy, Mr. Lawrence," said 
he. " If you don't believe it, come here an' 
look." And so it turned out. 

52 Tar Heel Tales 

The dogs moved across Cedar Hill toward 
Holt's Bay and Drowning Creek. The 
young hounds, all but Dinah, were chiming 
In at the rear. Dinah seemed Interested, but 
lazy. However, she kept nibbling at the 
track. As the hounds went In on the north 
side of Holt's Bay, old Sandy slipped out on 
the other side. Red Ball, the famous leader 
of the pack, got a live scent of the cunning 
fox as he set out, and rushed through the 
thicket, bawling as he went, and picked up the 
hot track. There was consternation among 
the dogs for a moment, but In a jiffy every 
last mouth, even that of Dinah, was giving 
tongue behind Red Ball. 

As was the custom of Sandy, he took a 
short round to try the quality of the pack. 
He raced three miles and back over level 
country, entered the bay where he went out, 
dodged through and started for the swamps 
of Big Creek, five miles away, to the north. 
The hounds were in hot pursuit. Red Ball In 
the lead, closely followed by Trumpet, Sing 
and Flirt. 

About every fourth leap Ball would cry, 

A Hound of the Old Stock 53 

*' Yock! Yocky-yocky yock! " It was sweet 
music to the ear. He did not bark often, 
but his voice was strong and piercing. Dinah 
brought up the rear, but was now thoroughly 
aroused, though the rabbit had made her 
heavy and slow. Simon was delighted to 
see her sticking to it so well and showing 
such interest. 

The hunters rode to the top of the hill, 
dismounted and waited patiently for the fox 
and the dogs to return. It might be an hour, 
or it might be four, but Sandy always came 
back to Drowning Creek, and the faster the 
race the quicker the return. 

Mr. Williamson and his companions did 
not have to loiter long that night, for within 
three-quarters of an hour after the hounds 
went out of hearing, Mark, with his keen 
ear, heard the tongue of Red Ball. It was 
coming back, " Yock ! Yocky-yocky yock ! " 

The men hurried to a road crossing to see 
the pack as it passed. Dogs had changed 
places. Some of the short-winded runners 
had dropped out and others fallen back. 
But Simon's Dinah had performed the most 

'54 Tar Heel Tales 

wonderful feat; instead of bringing up the 
tail-end, she was pushing Ball. Her tongue 
was mingling with his, and the old negro 
could not constrain himself. He just had to 
yell, and yell he did, at the top of his voice. 
" As sho' es de Lawd," he shouted, " she's 
one uv de ole stock I " 

But it was no time to shout. The dogs 
were flying on, and any inopportune whoop 
might bother them, so Simon was rebuked by 
the captain of the party. 

Sandy covered his three-mile circuit again, 
and returned to Holt's Bay. By that time 
he saw that his life was in danger, for the 
hounds were racing him faster than he ever 
had to go before. If the gait continued 
death would be staring him in the face, so he 
determined to put forth his best efforts in a 
run to Buck Hill and back, a total of sixteen 
miles, but by foiling several miles he would 
have ample time to dodge In Holt's Bay. 
The dogs were close after him when he left 
for Buck Hill, with Red Ball, and Dinah 
cheek by jowl. Ball was running wild, while 
Dinah seemed to be getting better. To the 

A Hound of the Old Stock ^^ 

west the flying pack went, the tongues of Ball 
and Dinah blended in one sound. Simon was 
so elated that he could not be still, moving 
about like a crazy man. 

When the music ceased, Mr. Williamson 
turned to Uncle Simon and said, " Old man, 
I'll give you fifty dollars for her." 

" Marse Lawrence, I needs de money, but 
I wouldn't swap dat dog f er yo' cotton mill ; 
no sar, dat I wouldn't." 

After that there was no sound for more 
than two hours, though the hunters listened 
with strained ears. Mark was the first to 
hear the returning music. He cried: 
" Hush ! There they come I Dinah's in 
the lead!" 

" Yoo-it yoo-it yoo-it I yoo-it I " came the 
sound rending the air. Ball had fallen back 
ten feet or more. Again the hunters has- 
tened to a place where they could view the 
dogs. That time they saw the fox. Big 
Sandy. He was but thirty yards ahead, with 
tail dragging the ground and tongue hanging 

His last race was run. The fatal day had 

56 Tar Heel Tales 

come. But he had pluck to struggle on. 
Dinah and her mates came on, tired but 
strong. Sandy was pulling for Holt's Bay, 
where he could turn and double about, and 
worry the dogs. But the sight of the men 
and the horses seemed to urge Dinah on. 
They gave her courage and she gained on 
the fox. As she crossed a hillock In the 
edge of the woods and turned down the op- 
posite side, she caught a glimpse of Big 
Sandy. Her heart beat with joy and she 
went forward with renewed vigor. The 
other dogs and the hunters were close In her 
wake. They had noted the change in her 
tongue and knew full well what it meant. 
It was a sight race from there to the thicket, 
and Dinah had the advantage. Big Sandy 
dodged and twisted, but his last moment had 
arrived. Dinah pounced on his back just as 
he entered the edge of the bay, and it was 
all over. 

Dinah had proved her mettle, and Big 
Sandy was dead. Uncle Simon was so happy 
that he could not speak. He fell upon his 

A Hound of the Old Stock 57 

dog and embraced her, while the boys patted 
him on the back and rejoiced with him. 
Dinah rolled and groaned in the broom sage, 
the idol of the hour. 


WHEN In Charlotte, I make my home 
at 411 North Tryon street, in a pri- 
vate family. My hostess, Mrs. Barrlnger, 
widow of General Rufus Barringer, owns an 
owl of the Asia Accipitrimus or short-eared 
species; her name Is Minerva and she is a 
very common bird. Hundreds like her dwell 
along the wooded streams of Mecklenburg 
and adjoining counties. None of them are 
beautiful. The one of which I write has 
but one redeeming feature. She Is grateful 
to her mistress who, alone, has fondled and 
petted her. In this she acts well and shows 
a trait that but few men have. 

Where did this strange, quaint and curious 
creature come from? Why did she become 
a thing to be domesticated and cared for like 
the beautiful little canary or the sweet- 
tongued mocking bird? Is she the apple of 
any person's eye, or the pride of any home? 


Minerva — the Owl 59 

To the last question I should say: "No; 
she is nobody's darling." 

The owner of Minerva was not looking 
for her when she came nor did she especially 
desire to become the possessor of such a 
charge. A friend sent her as a present from 
a neighboring town. She had been lifted 
from her nest, a tiny, awkward, helpless 
birdie, and dropped into our home suddenly. 

What was to be done ? 

Had she been given her liberty in Char- 
lotte, either by night or by day, a violent 
death would have been her fate. Hungry 
cats were ready to crack her delicate bones, 
and the street urchin, with his never-failing 
sling shot, or air-rifle, was eager to try his 
skill on just such a mark. 

Truly, the ugly, dirty, drab-colored little 
bird was far from enthusiastic friend or kin- 
dred. None of her kind are within several 
miles of the town. But if she could have 
been taken to the woods and set free she 
would have died from starvation and loneli- 
ness, for she was young, innocent and inex- 

6o Tar Heel Tales 

Indeed, she must be fed, housed and cared 
for as an object of charity, for, truly, she 
lacked lovable characteristics. At first she 
had but one friend and that, her owner, and 
to her she owes life and what happiness she 
has had. 

For twelve months of her existence, after 
she arrived, Minerva lived in a large wire- 
screen chicken pen, situated beneath my room 
window. It was there that she grew Into 
the dignified old lady that she is. The pen 
was built and is used for cooping chickens 
for the table. At times it was well filled 
with a fine lot of hens and then, again, 
empty. Minerva watched the dally slaugh- 
ter of her strange companions with apparent 
concern from the highest perch she could 
find. She would not associate with them. 
However, she soon discovered that they were 
afraid of her. Those direct from the coun- 
try, sought the farthest corner from her. 
All this she did not understand, for having 
seen none of her peculiar family, she must 
have felt that she was of the same blood as 
her fellow creatures. She tried diligently to 

Minerva — the Owl 6i 

unravel the mystery. Her thoughts were 
along the line of these questions, I Imagine, 
from the serious look she always wore upon 
her face: "Why do they avoid me? Will 
that dreadful tall creature from the kitchen 
come and wring my head off like he has done 
others? What does it all mean? Have I 
but one friend, the sweet old lady who raises 
the window every morning and greets 

The only trouble Minerva had In her early 
captivity was given by Osmond, the son of 
her mistress, who set Jack, his fierce bull 
terrier, after her. The dog could not get 
Inside the enclosure, but w^ould frighten her 
Into hysterics by charging against the wire 
and barking viciously. Under this excite- 
ment she took the only exercise she got, fly- 
ing from pole to pole and snapping her bill. 
What the bull dog and his master did for 
her Minerva did for the timid chickens. 
She amused herself daily by chasing them 
around. By Instinct an owl captures a fowl 
by pushing it off of a perch and catching it 
on the wing. Minerva would drop on the 

62 Tar Heel Tales 

pole by the side of a frightened hen and 
shove her off, just to see her squirm and hear 
her squall. She kept this sport up for 
months. Every time a new chicken was 
turned in she would haze her, much to the 
delight of those who could watch the game. 

But, now, Minerva is too much of a lady 
to engage in such youthful pranks. She sits 
on her perch and keeps tab on the sons and 
daughters of our neighbors. She announces 
the time of night that Colonel Willie Harty 
comes in and sings a funeral dirge out of 
respect for Fritz, the deceased dog of Mr. 
John Oates. In her more cheerful moods, 
she warbles after this manner: " Toot, oot, 
hoot, toot I" "Toot, oot, hoot, toot!!'' 
That is very owlish and I have found no one 
who could translate it into English. 

Mrs. Barringer, being a woman of noble 
heart, decided, not long ago, to give the bird 
her freedom. William, the man servant, 
was instructed to turn her out and see that no 
enemy harmed her. We all believed that 
she would be glad to leave the place for good 
at the first opportunity, for she did not seem 

Minerva — the Owl 63 

to care for or even trust any one but her 
mistress, to whom she would go when called 
or notice when spoken to. But we had 
reckoned wrong. She did not desire to de- 
part from us. Her hours are whiled away 
in such cozy nooks and corners as she elects 
to occupy in the back yard. She Is growing 
fat and familiar with mankind and beast. 

But, with liberty, protection and free- 
lunch, Minerva Is not permitted to be con- 
tented and happy. She has a swarm of 
unrelenting feathered enemies that make her 
life a burden. The blue jay, the red-headed 
peckerwood, the harsh catbird, and the cruel 
English sparrow are her fiercest foes. They 
annoyed her no little while confined in the 
chicken pen, by railing at her through the 
wire, but now they dare to pluck feathers 
from her back and puncture her body with 
sharp bills. The mischievous old jay lands 
in the morning before the servants come or 
the occupants of the house begin to stir, de- 
livers an inflammatory speech and urges his 
hearers to fight for their rights, their homes, 
their wives and their little ones. 

64 Tar Heel Tales 

It was my fortune, good or bad, to see one 
of these crowds assembled, to hear one of the 
addresses and witness an onslaught, one fine 
Sunday morning, several weeks ago. I had 
retired early the night before and slept well. 
The first call of Mr. Blue Jay waked me. 
I sat up in bed and looked on through the 
window blinds. The jay, feigning great in- 
dignation, sat in the top of an elm tree, not 
ten feet from the window. His voice rang 
out loud and shrill through the light morning 
air. It was barkened to by all the winged 
kind for several blocks. The red-headed 
woodpecker quit his hammering on the 
steeple of the Lutheran church across the 
street, and flew In all haste to join in the 
outcry with his rasping voice. The catbird 
sailed out from a neighboring fig bush and 
came tumbling and screaming across the gar- 
den. English sparrows poured in by the 
score from all directions until the tree was 
alive with their nervous little bodies. 

All was consternation and fuss at first, 
but soon the jay got the floor and made this 
very bitter and Impressive speech : " Fel- 

Minerva — the Owl 6$ 

low creatures: Here we are defied by the 
vilest bird that left the ark. She lurks 
about and seeks to do murder to you and to 
me, to yours and* to mine. Our homes, our 
wives and our children are in danger! 
What shall we do? Must we stand quietly 
by and see our loved ones killed and their 
flesh defiled by this designing old night-as- 
sassin? I answer: * No ! ' Why, she was 
despised and hated by the people of old. 
Hear what the Great Book says about her! 
When Job's honor was turned into extreme 
contempt and his prosperity Into calamity, 
he cried: * I am a brother to dragons, and 
a companion to owls.' 

"Babylon was threatened: * It shall 
never be inhabited, etc. 

" ' But wild beasts of the desert shall lie 
there, and their houses shall be full of dole- 
ful creatures ; and owls shall dwell there, and 
satyrs shall dance there.' 

" Yes, we must slay the detested creature. 
She Is an Imposition. I command you to rise 
In your might and drive her out of our para- 
dise 1 

66 Tar Heel Tales 

" The English sparrow will lead the 

"All together! 

"Charge! Bite! Scratch! Squall! 
Poise the head ! '' 

Off they went In a body to wage war on 
old Minerva, who had seen the antics and 
heard the words of the Indignant meddlers 
from her comfortable seat on a wheelbarrow- 
handle, just under a thick circle of a grape 
vine. It Is useless to say that she was badly 
frightened, for she dreaded the sharp beak 
and the fury of the courageous little sparrow ; 
he was so swift and determined In action 
that his onslaughts were to be feared. The 
bombastic jay, the timid catbird and the 
blatant woodpecker gave her no concern. 

The fight was In earnest when William, 
the servant, hove In sight. Minerva had 
lost several batches of feathers and her back 
was sore where the sparrows had billed her. 
At the flight of her assailants and the ap- 
pearance of William, she chirped: "Toot, 
toot, toot! " 

This Is a brief sketch of Minerva's life. 

Minerva — the Owl 67 

She is shunned, despised and distrusted by all 
the Charlotte feathered tribe. She is alone 
in the world. Her appearance is against her 
and she has no accomplishments. She can 
neither sing nor dance. Truly she is " the 
bird with the hoe.'* 


IT was the week after Theodore Roosevelt, 
President of the United States, had 
Booker Washington, a famous negro edu- 
cator, at the White House for dinner with 
him, and the press of the land had sent the 
news broadcast. 

" Good morning, Uncle Derrick, where 
are you off for to-day?" asked Dr. F. L. 
Smith of Concord, of his fellow-townsman, 
Derrick Alexander, the old colored wood- 
chopper, as he trudged along the street. 

" I's gwlne to de Big House at Washing- 
ton, where de President lives," said the old 

" Yes, sir, Fs on my way to see President 

"What are you going to see him for?" 
inquired Dr. Smith. 

" Why, ain't you been readin' in de papers 
'bout dem big festerbuls dat Mr. Roseanfelt 


Uncle Derrick at Home. 

Uncle Derrick In Washington 69 

an' his fine lady's been havin' spechully fer dc 
niggers? Dat's it, sir! Dere's where 
Uncle Derrick's goln'." 

The old fellow was in earnest. He wore 
his best shoes — a new pair of number four- 
teen brogans — a weather-beaten stovepipe 
hat and an antiquated suit of livery. In a 
bandanna handkerchief, swung over the end 
of a stout cane across his shoulder, he carried 
a few odds and ends of dress. 

" Well, Uncle Derrick, how much money 
are you taking with you? Can you go in 
good style? '' 

" Boss, dat's de weak p'Int 'bout my trip. 
De ole nigger's des got ernuff to git to Salis- 
bury, but ef he can't fine er frien' dere to hep 
him on he'll walk. I's gwine to go ef de 
Lawd lets me live. De time dat I's been 
waitin' fer Is done come. It sho' is. All 
de niggers In my part uv de town Is talkin' 
'bout goln'. President Roseanfelt (dat's 
what de Dutch folks uv Keebarrus county 
calls him) sho' is de frien' uv de nigger. 
Think uv it! Niggers wid deyer shinin' 
clothes on eatin' wId de rich white folks uv 

70 Tar Heel Tales 

de Ian' I I ain't got no fine clothes, but ef de 
ole nigger kin des git dere he'll be all right; 
some good white gem'man frum de Souf will 
hand me out er thanky-suit. No, sir, I ain't 
'spectin' no trouble arter I git dere fer de ole 
nigger's mighty handy 'bout de house. Ef 
I can't git in at de fust table I kin at de 

" But, Uncle Derrick, they won't let a 
cornfield negro go in the White House; it's 
high-toned negroes, like Booker Washington 
and John Dancy, that attend the receptions 
of the President." 

" What? Dem yaller niggers! Dey ain't 
fitten to go wid de quality. It's de right 
black nigger dat's got de 'ristocrat blood in 
him. My ole marster uster say dat a light- 
skin nigger an' er roan mule wuz de wust 
things in de worP. 

*' No, sir, I ain't skeered uv no nigger wid 
er yaller skin. Ef I des kin git to de Big 
House dat's all I ax; I'll do de rest." 

Dr. Smith, seeing that Derrick was serious, 
furnished him with money to buy a ticket to 

Uncle Derrick in Washington 71 

Washington and urged him to go forth and 
be merry. 

But, a week later, Derrick returned to 
Concord, ragged and bruised. His clothes 
had been rent in many places and his head 
badly wounded. He hobbled up town and 
called on Dr. Smith, to whom he told the 
story of his visit to Washington, and recited 
the fearful tale of woe that follows: 

" Marster, I 'clare 'fo' Gawd dat I'll never 
leave home ergin while I live. Dere's mo' 
good foks in Concord dan anywhere else. 
I'll die right here. Dem Washington foks Is 
de meanes' people dat I ever seed. De nig- 
gers Is bigity an' de white men don't pay no 
'tention to you, an' dat's one place de po- 
leesmens don't take no draggin' fer dey'll 
knock you down fer lookin' mad. I sho' 
did think that judgment day had come when 
I got dere. 

** De trip up dere on de train wuz fust- 
class. I seed lots uv fine people on de way. 
But no sooner dan I lit on de groun' at 
Washington my trouble started. 

72 Tar Heel Tales 

" I followed de yudder travelers f um dc 
train out to de street, where I met a big buck 
nigger, wearin' uv a beaver. I know'd dat 
he was fixin' to go to de festerbul. He had 
on er Jim-swinger coat an' high-top boots. 
I step up to him an' say : * Is dis de day 
fer de President's big blow-out to de niggers 
an' de big white foks ? ' De rascal look me 
up an' down an' all over an' ax : * What is 
you talkin' 'bout, ole Rube? What do you 
know 'bout de President's functions ? ' I 
stop right dere fer I seed de kinder nigger I 
wuz talkin' to. He was too highferlutin' 
fer me, talkin' 'bout functions; when er nig- 
ger quits sayin' festerbul it's time to let him 
erlone. I axed him de way to de Big House 
an' he sed, * Go to de yavenue an' up.' I 
say, * What's dat ? ' He answer, ' It's de 
bigges' street in de town.' 

" I move on till I meet er pleasant lookin' 
white gem'man who say dat he's frum Ala- 
bam. I knowed dat he wuz uv de bes' stock 
In de country, fer he had on good clothes an' 
er big wide brim hat, one la'k ole master 
useter wear. I pull off my hat an' say, 

Uncle Derrick In Washington 73 

' Boss, does you live here? ' ' No,' he say, 

" I seed dat he wuz all right, so I pop er 
few questions to him. * Boss, Is dis de day 
uv de festerbul at de Big House fer de culled 
peoples an' yudders ? ' Well, sir, he smile 
way down to his Adam's apple, des la'k de 
question do him good, and say, * Is you think- 
in' 'bout 'tendin' one uv de White House to- 

" ^ Yes, sir, dat's what I come up here fer; 
I lives in Concord, North Carollny, wid 
Marse Jim Cannon, Marse John Wadsworth 
an' de rest. I sho' do wish dat you'd hep me 
git in. I'se des as good as dem yaller nig- 
gers dat's been Vlted.' 

*' He des chuckle when I tol' him 'bout 
my bizness up dere. He reach in his pocket 
an' fetch out a ticket wid his name on it an' 
when he write, * Let dis nigger in de White 
House to de festerbul,' he handed It to me an' 
say, * Dat'll git you in.' 

" * But, uncle,' he say, * dey don't call de 
to-do's festerbuls, la'k dey do down Souf, but 
dey is functions an' ceptlons.' 

74 Tar Heel Tales 

" * Well,' I say, * des so dey have good 
things to eat, dat's all dat I care 'bout. We 
calls 'em festerbuls.' 

*' ' Why,' he 'clare, * dey don't have noth- 
in' to eat. You des go up dere an' shake 
hands wid de big fo'ks. Dat's all you do. 
Dere ain't no eatin' 'bout it.' 

" Dat didn't suit dis nigger an' I wuz hot 
under de collar, fer Marse John Wadsworth 
tolt me, 'fo' I lef dat dey woul' have er 'pos- 
sum as big as er sheep an' sweet-taters an' 
gravy by de gallun. Dat wuz what I went 
fer. I kin shake ban's wid folks at home. I 
thought de gem'man wuz tryin' to fool me, 
but I didn't tell him so. He look at me an' 
laugh, an' den go on 'bout his bizness. 

** I go on up de yavenue an' meet all de 
fo'ks. I didn't know dat dere wuz so many 
people in de worl'. I step in front uv a 
nice lookln' man an' ax, * Boss, Is chuch out? ' 
I seed de crowd an' thought dat wuz de 
trouble. But de man hain't answer my ques- 
tion yit. He look me in de eye, stick out his 
han' to shake wid me, an' say, * Jones Is my 
name. What did you say yourn wuz ? ' 

Uncle Derrick in Washington 75 

Dat wuz somefin' else. I wuzn't uster 
shakin' wid white fo'ks, but I thought he 
might be kin to de President, so I ketched his 
han' an' 'clare, ' My name is Derrick Alex- 
ander, frum Concord, North Caroliny.' 
Well, de bref lef me when he say, * What 
kin I do fer you, Mr. Alexander?' Tse 
ninety years ole, but dat's de fust time dat er 
white man ever calt me * Mister.' I slip 
erway fum de man quick fer I knowed dat 
he wuz one uv dem Yankees dat ole marster 
uster cuss so hard. I went on up de yavenue, 
but kep' lookin' back to see ef he wuz arter 
me. Frum dat time on it seem to me dat all 
de fo'ks dat I see wuz Yankees. Dey la'k 
ter driv' me crazy. Dat's de truf. 

" Dat wuz de longes' street dat I ever seed, 
for it took me er half er day to git to de 
Big House yard. I wuz des wile fer all de 
niggers dat I seed wuz bigity an' de white 
fo'ks wuz mean. De little niggers look at 
me an' laugh. Ef I had been back in Con- 
cord I'd busted some uv deyer noggin's, but 
I wuz skeered to do it up dere. By de time 
I got to de Big House gate I wuz mad an' 


Tar Heel Talcs 

'stractcd. It 'peers dat everybudy wuz ergin 
me. As I started to step up In de gate er 
man wcarin' cr uneeform an' brass buttons 
come out frum behint er bush an' say, sassy 
la'k, * Don't come In here, ole man ! DIs's 
no place fer niggers ! ' 

" Well, sir, dat raised my dander. I des 
made up my mine to go In dere anyhow. So 
I say, * I'm goln' to see de President ef I 
have ter lick you.' He grin back at me an 
'clare, * Dere's de President now. He an 
his boy, goln' fer er ride.' 

" I turnt my head an' looked roun' an 
sho' 'nuff, dere wuz er man an' er boy ridin 
bob-tall horses. I yell out, ' Hello, Mr 
President! Dis ole Derrick, frum Concord 
He's come to yo' festerbuL' I don't know 
why, but dat peered to make him mad an 
his upper lip histed up lack er winder shade 
an' his lower lip fall down. I 'clare fo' de 
Lawd dat I never seed sich a mouf full uv 
teef In my life. Dey shine so dat dey look 
la'k dem new tombstones In Red Hill grave- 
yard. An' he ain't stop at grinnin', fer he say 
to de plesman clo§e to me, * 'Rest dat crank 

Uncle Derrick in Washington 77 

uv er nigger an' lock him up I ' Dat wuz de 
las' straw. I des square mysef fer to fight. 
But dat's all dat I know den, fer de man wid 
de uneeform whack me over de head wid his 
billy-stick an' put me ter sleep. Dat's what 
made de hole In my fold. As I wuz on de 
way to de gard house wid de officer, I hearn 
somebudy say, ^ Why, dat's ole Derrick x^lex- 
ander. What's he bin doin', Mr. Officer?' 
* Tryin' to git to de White House.* ' Well, 
des as soon as he gits able to travel I'll send 
him home.' 

" I didn't know who it wuz den, but I 
hearn later dat it w^uz Congressman Theo. 
Kluttz, from Salisbury. I had fetched water 
fer him ter drink at er speakin' at Concord 
one day. 

" Dey took me ter de lock-up an' put me 
In er Iron cell an' it wuz late In de day 'fo' 
I knowed er thing. Den I waked up an' 
looked 'round me. I seed niggers In all de 
cells, an' mos' uv dem had sore heads. Dey 
had been tryin' to git In de White House. 
I cried des la'k er chile an' wish dat I wuz 
back at Concord wid de people dat I know. 

78 Tar Heel Tales 

I imagined dat I seed all de good fo'ks here. 

" Early de nex' momin' de bossman uv dc 
place come to me an' say, ' Ef you'll git outen 
dis town des as fas' as you kin hustle, we'll 
let you go. A gem'man lef er ticket home 
fer you. Take it an' git ! ' 

" Dat sho' was sweet music to my ears. I 
wuz ready to go right den. I went out de do' 
an' almos' skip to de depot. 

" Thank Gawd dat de ole nigger's back 
home ergin. Dat's where he's goin' ter stay. 
Dem niggers what want to go to de White 
House 'ceptions kin go, but give me my ole 
f ryin' pan, cr big fat 'possum, a peck uv taters 
an' er pint uv gravy. Dat's what suits dis 
nigger. I ain't hankerin' arter shakin' no- 
budy's han'." 

Preparing for the Guest. 


^^OHHOO, shhoo, shhoo, you good-for- 
kJ nothing thing, we don't want any 
company to-day," shouted the large, ruddy- 
faced lady of the Parks Big House, to a hand- 
some, red and black game cock that jumped 
upon the walk In front of the porch, flapped 
his glossy wings and started to crow. 

" Who you reckon's comin' here dis time 
uv de week, an' we so busy, Miss Jule?" 
asked old Matt Miller, the family servant, 
as she came around the corner of the house, 
from the kitchen, on her way to the well, car- 
rying two water buckets, with her sleeves 
rolled to her elbows, showing a pair of lithe, 
black arms, well muscled and hard. 

" I don't know. Matt, but that rooster per- 
sists in crowing in front of the door, and 
that Is a mighty good sign that some stranger's 
coming for a meal," declared Miss Jule. 


So Tar Heel Tales 

" Yes'm, an' I'se done drap de dish rag 
twice dis mornin' an' dat's er sign dat don't 
fail, an' de pusson whut comes is mos' lakly 
to be hongry, too. 

" Maybe hits de nev/ preacher? " 

*' No, Matt, I don't think so, he's never 
said anything about coming, and he will go 
and see all of the elders and deacons before 
he starts around among the common folks. 
He hasn't been to see the Graves yet, and 
they are pillars in Sharon." 

** Humph, Miss Jule, you don't know dese 
young preachers lak I doos. Hit ain't de 
elders an' de deekins deyer arter so much as 
hit's de mens wid de money. 

" Leastwise, dat de way hit Is wid our peo- 
ple, an' human natur' is 'bout de same whether 
de skin's white or black. I knows dis, ef 
you hain't gut de spondulicks you don't git de 

" Ef hit ain't de rocks hit's de weemens dat 
de young preachers Is gut on deyer minds 
dese days. Dat sho' is de truf. 

" Dat young feller, he's done heered dat 
Marse George's gut las' year's cotton in de 

And the Signs Failed Not 8 1 

shed, dat ain't never been sold, an' he's des 
'bout comin' to spend de day." 

*' What about our new preacher, Matt, do 
you like his looks?" asked the lady of the 
house, as she knitted. 

*' I ain't seed 'im right good, but I don't 
lak de lef eye." 

" What's the matter with it? " 

" Yo' maw, Miss Nancy, an' she wuz er 
pow'ful smart 'oman too, used to say: 
* Mat, don't you marry no cock-eye man, ef 
you do you'llgit cheated.' " 

"And you believe it?" 

" 'Cose I do. Look at Marse George, one 
uv de bestes' horse traders in dese parts ! 
Whut do he say ? ' Don't buy no white foot 
horse or trade wid er cock-eye man.' 

" But, Miss Jule, I ain't sayin' nothin' ergin 
yo' preacher. I don't lak to think bad 'bout 
de men uv de pulpit, but I ain't gut de faith 
dat I used to have. No, chile, de older I 
gits de wuss I is." 

Matt moved on, leaving her mistress to 
think over what she had said. 

Mrs. George Parks, although corpulent, 

82 Tar Heel Tales 

and misshapen, had pretty white hands, neat 
and dainty feet and small, aristocratic ankles, 
pretty soft, iron-gray hair, and bright, keen 
gray eyes. Her every feature bespoke a 
warm heart, a gentle and refined nature. As 
she sat there that morning, in her own low 
rocking chair, knitting away at a cotton sock, 
she was a perfect picture of health and hap- 
piness. She had put her house in shape for 
the day, fed the early biddies just from the 
eggshells, looked over her garden and was 
resting on the long, cool front porch, over- 
spread by the limbs of two magnificent white 

After Matt had drawn the water and re- 
turned to the kitchen, Charlie, the baby boy 
of the Parks home, came running in from the 
shop with a hoe in his hand, and dashed up 
the steps, intending to go through the house 
to the field in the rear, but was halted by his 
mother, who said sharply: " Child, don't 
bring that hoe in here, it is bad luck to carry 
a hoe in a house where one lives." 

The boy hurried back down the steps and 
around the house. 

And the Signs Failed Not 83 

The reader may imagine that he Is at this 
prosperous country home, in the Piedmont re- 
gion of the South, where cotton is king, and 
hog and hominy the staff of life, and view the 

It Is springtime, a beautiful fair morning 
In early June, and the grandfather clock, one 
that had been In the family for several gen- 
erations, had just struck nine. Mrs. Parks 
was at peace with the world. She had helped 
to red up the house, to feed the poultry, strain 
the fresh milk, churn and put away the but- 
ter and written a letter to her oldest son, who 
was off at college. 

Old Matt, who served as cook, chamber- 
maid, milkmaid, dairymaid, and errand run- 
ner, was preparing dinner. 

*' Have you put on your greens. Matt? " 
asked Mrs. Parks, throwing back her head, 
and calling over her shoulder. 

" Yes'm, long 'go," responded the faithful 

" What do you think about killing a 
chicken? Do you reckon we'll have com- 

84 Tar Heel Tales 

" Des as shore, Miss Jule, as I'se llvin'; 
Pse done drap de dish rag ergin. Ef I wuz 
you, I'd be skeered to risk it." 

" Well, I think so myself, for George took 
butter this morning when he had butter on his 
plate, and that is a pretty sure sign. When 
the rooster crows in front of the house, and 
the cook drops the dish rag three times, and 
the head of the family takes butter when he's 
got butter, all of the signs point one way. 

*' I expect you had better call Charlie and 
catch that little red rooster that stays in the 
Irish potato patch, back of the garden." 

Mrs. Parks continued to knit, and ponder. 
Her mind went from one thing to another. 
One moment she was thinking of her dear 
Tom, who would soon be home from the Uni- 
versity, and the next of Ned, who had gone to 
Charlotte to get a new mowing machine. 
Most of her thoughts were of her children. 

Matt and Charlie chased the little red 
rooster through Marse George's prize cotton 
patch, under the barn and out again, over the 
fence, around the carriage house, finally hem- 
ming him In a corner and catching him. 

And the Signs Failed Not 85 

Matt put him in a pie and Charlie went to 
carry water to the field hands, in response to 
Big John Ardrey's call: "Sonny, sonny, 
sonny, ain't you gwine to fetch de ole nigger 
no water to-day ? He's so thirsty ! " 

The cotton and corn were beginning to 
show well in the more fertile fields. Every 
available man and woman on the place was 
at work, either plowing or hoeing, thinning 
the young truck to a stand, and making war 
on General Green, the farmer's faithful 
enemy. Many fields were green with waving 
grain. Here and there wheat was turning 
yellow and would soon be ready for the 

To the right of the Big House, far out in 
the twenty-four acre field, eight plows, drawn 
by as many sturdy mules, still thin from hard 
spring plowing, breaking lands, and brown 
from the first scorching rays of the sun, 
manned by lusty negroes, black and glossy 
from eating rich Western-grown meat, were 
going, running around the cotton, thinned to 
a stand. 

86 Tar Heel Tales 

" Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, 
It's almos' pay day, pay day, 
An' I'se gwine to git my honey er hat," 

sang Jerry, a loud-mouthed, animated young 
negro, who plowed Kit, a four-year-old mule, 
fifteen hands high, and valued by Squire 
Parks at one-seventy-five. , There was no me- 
ter to his song, but it sounded well to him, 
and the neighbors for two miles around could 
hear it. 

" Listen, Miss Jule," said Matt, to Mrs. 
Parks, who had gone to the kitchen to see 
about dinner. " Dat big mouf Jerry can't 
keep quiet. 

" Hear 'im singin' 'bout his honey? 

" He rakes 'roun' all night, an' hollers all 
day 'bout his honey? He better be givin' 
dat Runt somefin', dat chile uv Mary's." 

" Is that his child. Matt?" 

" 'Cose hit's his'n. 

" An' he ain't never as much as give it a 
moufful uv nothin' — no, not nary mouf- 
f ul I 

" De po' little chile des runs 'roun' while 

And the Signs Failed Not 87 

Mary wuks, des lak It wuz er dog or hog. I 
ain't never seed sich neglect. But Mary 
can't hep It now; she's gut to wuck fur er 

" Well, I didn't know that Runt was 
Jerry's child before." 

" Yon he is now ! " exclaimed Matt, as she 
turned and looked out of the window, toward 
the hands, who were hoeing cotton in the Clay 
Field, back of the orchard. 

" Yes'm, Mary's des hoein' an' wuckin' lak 
er dog, an' keepin' dat chile, while Jerry's 
spendin' money on dat yaller Rose whut come 
here wid dat nigger Rufus, who de pleesmens 
tuck back to town an' put on de chain-gang 
fur stealln' er cow. 

" Po' Runt, he don't git much 'tenshun ! 
Dey never thought enough uv 'Im to name 
'im, an' de foks, seein' how little he wuz, 
called 'im ' Runt ' an' ' Runt ' he is. Ef any- 
budy wanted him dey coul' steal 'Im an' no- 
budy woul' make much fuss 'bout It. Ef It 
wuz slavry time ergin, an' Ole Brickhouse Jim 
wuz llvin', he'd git 'Im 'fo' Sadday night. 
Mary tote's 'im to de fiel' in de mornin' an' 

88 Tar Heel Tales 

puts Mm down in de shade uv er tree an' lets 
'Im stay dere." 

This same little negro, four years old, bow- 
legged, flat-nosed, onery-looking and dirty, 
clad in a single garment, which was torn, and 
without buttons to hold it In place, was at 
that very moment rambling about In the weeds 
In the orchard, far from his mother, who, 
with a dozen other hands, were chopping cot- 
ton. If a dog or a calf or anything else came 
along and toppled him over he cried until he 
was exhausted, fell asleep and waked up re- 
freshed. No one seemed to love or care for 
him ; he weeded his own row. 

Taking pity on him, on various and sundry 
occasions. Miss Jule had sent Charhe with 
buttered biscuits or pieces of pie to the four- 
year-old. Although Runt was afraid of 
Charlie, who often slipped up behind him, 
turned his little shirt over his head and ran, 
he was thankful for the hand-outs, without 
knowing just where they came from. If he 
saw the white boy coming he wanted to hide, 
but was afraid to lest he miss a sweet morsel 
for his tongue. 

And the Signs Failed Not 89 

*' Look, Miss Jule, don't it beat all how 
boys do? See Charlie teasing dat po' little 
nigger," old Matt would say. 

*' Charlie ! Charlie ! You little scamp, 
you ! Quit worrying that child ! " would fol- 
low, and the youngster would laugh and run, 
leaving Runt to think it over. 

** Shhoo, shhoo, shhoo ! 

*' There's that old rooster again," said 
Mrs. Parks, as she turned and started for the 
front porch again. 

*' We don't w^ant any company to-day." 

" Miss Jule, don't you speck you'd better 
spruce up er little, so ef de preacher do come 
you'll be ready fur 'im? " 

*' I will put on my new dress, I want 
George to see it anyhow, and I can take it 
off after dinner if nobody comes." 

" I speck you better." 

After the mistress of the house had resumed 
her seat on the porch, having arrayed herself, 
in her pretty calico frock. Matt called out: 
" Miss Jule, who is dat comin' 'roun' de fieP 
on dat big white boss? " 

90 Tar Heel Tales 

" It looks like Capt. Brown, on old Roy," 
said Mrs. Parks. 

" Yes'm, hit do, but he woul'n't be comin' 
here fur dinner, 'ceptin' Miss Jane's erway," 
declared Matt. 

Sure enough. It was Capt. Brown, and he 
rode up to the front gate. 

" The tip of the day to you, Mrs. Parks ! '* 
said the gallant fellow, lifting his hat. 

*' Good morning, Capt. Brown ; won't you 

" No, thank you; I haven't time." 

" You all well ? " 

" We're up an' about, but I'm not feeling 
well. I have had a pain in my head for sev- 
eral days." 

" Listen at Miss Jule," said old Matt to 
herself, as she peeped around the honey- 
suckle vine, at the end of the porch to catch 
what was said. " I ain't never seed her look 
better nor puttier." 

" How are you all, Capt. Brown? " 

*' Just tollerbly well, only; the old woman 
Is grunting a little this morning." 

" Which way Is the 'Squire? " 

And the Signs Failed Not 91 

*' He's In the Clay Field, back of the house, 
where the hoe hands are at work." 

" Have you heard from Mrs. Marler to- 

" No, but Sam came by there last night, 
late, on his way from the post office, and Reu- 
ben told him that she was no better. I guess 
she's In a right bad way." 

" Yes, poor woman, she's been a great suf- 
ferer for a long time. I have been wanting 
to go to see her, but the stock Is busy now, and 
then, too, I have not felt like riding. I get 
dizzy every time I get In a buggy." 

" You heard about Mrs. BUI McGregor, 
Mrs. Parks?" 

" No ; is it a boy or girl ? " 

" A ten-pound boy." 

" That's fine ! Five girls and three boys. 

" Tell Mollle to come over. She needn't 
wait on me. I'm getting too old to travel 
about much." 

" Thank you. You and George come. 

" Well, I want to see the old man on a lit- 
tle business; I will just ride around there." 

Capt. Brown and Squire Parks were the 

92 Tar Heel Tales 

best of neighbors and friends. Both were 
influential in political affairs and substantial 
business men. That morning they talked 
over a private matter and Capt. Brown turned 
and went back. 

Dinner time came and no company arrived. 
The greens, the chicken and strawberry pies 
were all ready, but there was no one outside 
of the family circle to eat them. 

" I don't believe In your signs, anyhow," 
declared Mr. Parks, " for, this morning, as 
I went to the field, a red bird, a pretty one, 
flew across the road in front of me, and I 
have heard it said that that Is the sign that 
you are going to see your sweetheart, dressed 
in her best clothes, and I know I haven't seen 
any sweetheart to-day." 

*' O, yes, you is, Marse George," said 
Matt, as she handed him the greens for a sec- 
ond help. 

"Who? Where?" 

" Here she Is, Miss Jule, de onlles' sweet- 
heart dat you ever had." 

*' Don't you believe that. Matt," said Mrs. 
Parks, fishing for a compliment. 

And the Signs Failed Not 93 

" I guess you are right, Matt, and she's 
got on a new dress," conceded the lord and 
master of the Parks Big House. 

Dinner and the hour of rest over, the hands 
started for the field. Everybody, save Mary, 
the mother of Runt, had gone, and she hunted 
everywhere for the fatherless waif, but could 
not find him. Squire Parks, Miss Jule, and 
Matt organized themselves into a searching 
party, but hunt where they would they could 
not find the little negro. The big bell that 
hung on the red oak in front of the lot gate 

, was sounded, and all the workmen came in, 
knowing that the ringing of it meant a gen- 
eral alarm, and were formed into groups and 
sent to the fields to look for the missing child. 
Aunt Matt took a mirror and reflected the 

, sun in the w^ell, thinking that he might have 
tumbled in there. Every nook and corner 
about the barn and every wash, or gulley, or 
weed patch about the place was examined, but 
no trace of Runt was found. 

" Somebudy done tuck an' stole dat chile," 
said Matt. " Told you so. I knowed dat de 

94 Tar Heel Tales 

Lawd wuz gwine to let somebudy have 'Im 
dat wour care fur 'im. 

" Po' little chile, I hope dat nothin' ain't 
happen to 'im." 

For two hours the hunt continued. Mary 
was wailing and shouting like one possessed. 
Jerry, the wayward negro of the plantation, 
was racing everywhere, looking. When all 
had about concluded that the boy had been 
kidnaped. Miss Jule, who had become hot and 
tired, moving about in the broiling sun, and 
returned to the house, discovered a pair of 
little black, dirty feet sticking out from un- 
der a large hall table and, on making a closer 
examination, found that Runt had stolen in, 
crawled under the table and gone to sleep 
on the floor. Having put a pillow under the 
knappy head she notified the hunters and told 
Mary to go to her work and leave the child 
to her. 

Matt was very much disappointed, for she 
had looked into the well until she believed 
that she could see the body of a child on the 
bottom, and when Miss Jule called she was 
preparing to announce that she had found the 

^d the Signs Failed Not 95 

little fellow; but, after seeing the feet and 
bowlegs, as they protruded from the table, 
was convinced that she was wrong. 

" Yes, Miss Jule, an* de signs done come 
true,'* declared the old darkey. " Dat's de 
hongry pusson dat wuz comin*; dat chile des 
gut so hongry dat he couln't stand hit no 
longer an' come In. Po' little thing." 

** I am glad he made himself at home. 
Matt, I will adopt him." 

" One thing. Miss Jule, I wuz glad to see 
dat Jerry lookln' sad-lak 'bout his boy. He 
may not be so bad arter all. De Lawd put 
good In everybudy." 

" Yes, and Jerry and Mary may marry 
some day, and make Runt a home ; you can't 
tell," added Mrs. Parks. 

Runt was treated as a guest of the house. 
He slept unmolested for an hour, and when 
he waked he was taken to the kitchen and 
given the best the larder afforded. For a 
month he remained there, waxing fat and 
black and strong. Mary was delighted to be 
rid of him under the circumstances. 

g6 Tar Heel Tales 

The rooster had not given the clarion call 
in vain. 

One day two weeks later, Miss Jule sent 
for Jerry, and they talked on the front steps. 
The next day the young negro said to Squire 
Parks: "Say, Marse George, I want's you 
to marry me an' Mary. I'se done gut de 

** Where did you get money to get license, 
this time of year?" asked the justice of the 

" Miss Jule give it to me." 

That was the day the signs failed not. 


^ ^A I iHAT was a great day In Providence 
X — when Paddy Roark's bird out- 
witted Black John Smith's fine cock, the 
mighty Jay Bird," said the old gambler. 
" That was the end of the world for me. 
WeVe had no real sport since that time; 
the boys are all good nowadays." 

Briefly put, that is the story of the last 
gambling bout of a public nature in Provi- 
dence township, Mecklenburg county. The 
day of the great battle between the fowls of 
Roark and Smith marks the beginning of a 
new era. 

Black John Smith, as he was known far 
and near, on account of his swarthy complex- 
ion, was among the last of his kind in the 
Southern states that embrace the Piedmont 
region. He and his sort had their day just 
after the civil war, when every community in 


98 Tar Heel Tales 

Dixie was in a state of confusion, and horse 
racing, cock fighting, wrestling and fighting 
matches were common. Smith was one of 
the boys — a jolly, good fellow, who liked 
a good time, and if he could not have it one 
way he would another. He did not belong 
to the Southern aristocracy of the age; his 
blood was tainted, but he was a man of fine 
sense, never-failing courage, and handsome 
appearance. His family record being a little 
off color made him a social outcast and his 
associates were inferiors. Life to him was 
just what he made it, and he lived like a lord. 
His home. The Elms, the former residence of 
Capt. Jim Davis, the largest slave owner in 
the southern section of the county, was the 
rendezvous of second-class sportsmen, who 
assembled there to drink, revel and try their 

Being industrious and a first-rate farmer, 
Black John, who never owned land, but rented 
the best to be had, always had plenty to eat 
and drink around him. His corn bread and 
butter milk, pig jowl and kraut, hog and hom- 
iny, wine and brandy, all home-made, were of 

The Irishman's Game Cock 99 

the best In the land, and, liberal to a fault, he 
was never without friends. 

If any man were out hunting for trouble 
for himself, his dog, his rooster, or anything 
else, he could find It at The Elms when Black 
John Smith flourished there. Rural ath- 
letes, bullies, owners of game cocks, and rac- 
ing horses met with him on off days for a big 

Among those who foregathered at his home 
were dissipated landlords of the community, 
but, being of a higher social strata, the bet- 
ter citizens rarely ever tarried at the Smith 
hearth unless they were there on business. 

In the early eighties there drifted into 
Providence one Paddy Roark, an Irish arti- 
san, from where no one ever knew. Paddy 
was a unique character and the people of 
the good old Presbyterian neighborhood gave 
him a cordial welcome. Just such a man was 
needed. At all times he was affable and 
jolly and made friends everywhere. He was 
a handy man — could do any sort of turn. 
It was " Paddy do this " and " Paddy do 
that." If a farmer needed a painter, a car- 

loo Tar Heel Tales 

penter, a brick mason, or what not, Paddy- 
was the man. Truly, Paddy was '' Dick and 
the wheel in any tight place." If the boys 
and girls of Providence had a frolic or a dance 
he played the fiddle, or picked the banjo, or 
sang Irish songs. The good housewives of 
the community liked him, for he could make 
the kraut, salt the meat, cook fruit for pre- 
serves, make persimmon and locust beer, or 
take the honey from the bee hive. In fact, 
Paddy was an all-round citizen, and so long 
as he behaved himself the good people of the 
community did not worry about his mysterious 
past or the suddenness of his advent into that 
bailiwick. Little did they care, the descend- 
ants of the signers of the Mecklenburg Decla- 
ration of Independence, If he had killed an 
Englishman or two In the old country. 

Paddy Roark belonged to the social circle 
of The Elms. He and Black John Smith 
were friends, but the Irishman, being a man 
of keen wit and cleverness, did not like the 
way the lord of the old Davis place towered 
above his fellows. There sprung up a rivalry 
between these popular idols. In a clash of 

The Irishman's Game CocK loi 

Intellects the man from the Emerald Isle out- 
shone the native Tar Heel. In a test of 
physical strength they were pretty evenly 
matched. Paddy was the best boxer, but 
Black John could throw him down in a 
wrestle. Paddy was the only man In the 
Smith set that would challenge the " Chief 
of The Elms." 

It was on a cold, drizzly day In September 
and the boys for several miles around had 
assembled under the Smith roof to discuss 
plans for the fall and winter. Black John 
sat In one corner and Paddy In the other, In 
front of a big log fire. There was a lull In 
the conversation. 

" A rooster Is the gamest thing on earth," 
said Smith. 

" I do not admit that without proof," said 

" The proof is at hand," declared Smith. 
" Jay Bird, my dominecker game. Is In the 
yard. He is the champion of the county and 
I will back him against the feathered king- 
dom. He carries a chip on his shoulder and 
challenges the world every time he crows. 

102 Tar Heel Talcs 

He can crow louder, shriller, oftener and 
longer than any chicken in seven states. I 
can make him come in here and fight you." 

About that time the clarion call of a rooster 
was heard. 

"Listen!" shouted Black John. "He 
says ' I can lick anything that wears feathers ! ' 

" I will back him in that declaration." 

Smith got up, opened the door and yelled: 
" Jay Bird, come here and defend yourself." 

Before one could say Jack Robinson twice, 
a beautiful game rooster — and there Is noth- 
ing prettier — came flying to the house from 
the barn. His magnificent head, as keen as 
an arrow point, was red with life, and his 
alert brown eye sparkled with fire. His spurs 
were long and sharp and well set in a pair 
of splendid legs. His cold, steady eye gave 
him a fierce appearance ; the calm, determined 
stare of never-failing courage, was what made 
adversaries quail before him. 

" Come In, Jay Bird, and get on your mas- 
ter's shoulder," was the invitation extended. 
Black John was proud of his cock. He 
petted and groomed him dally. 

The Irishman's Game Cocic 103 

*' Jay Bird, they say you can be whipped,'* 
said Smith, when the rooster lit upon his 
shoulder. " What about it? " 

Flapping his wings, lifting his eagle-head, 
and crowing. Jay Bird seemed to say: "I 
can whip any rooster in the land." 

" A game rooster is proud, daring and 
fearless if he comes of the right stock," as- 
serted Black John. *' Courageous men or 
dogs do not fight without an excuse, but the 
cock goes forth to hunt a foe. Two games 
will meet far from their own barnyards and 
fight to the death, when there is no provoca- 
tion for a meeting, much less a fight. The 
bold, defiant spirit of their blood urges them 
on. The one hears the challenge of the 
other and accepts by going, running, flying 
and crowing, to meet him. 

" Jay Bird is a bundle of superb courage, 
and I will pit him against any two-legged 

*' I accept the challenge," said Paddy. 
" Name the time and the place and I will be 
on hand with my bird. We shall put up $25 
a side if you say so." 

104 Tar Heel Tales 

This announcement took the breath from 
the crowd. The money was put up and the 
day fixed. 

The acceptance of Black John's challenge 
by Paddy Roark was the sensation of the 
month. The countryside was surprised and 
delighted. Everybody was asking, " And 
where did Paddy get a chicken that can stand 
up against Jay Bird, the wonder? " 

All the answer that Paddy gave was, 
** Never you moind, I'll be there at the rolght 
tolme, and I will have a folghting cock that 
will swape the daeck." 

The word was " put out " and traveled 
with the wind, crossing out of Providence into 
PInevIlle, Morning Star, Sharon and Steele 
Creek townships, and Into Union county and 
South Carolina. The coming contest was all 
the talk, and Paddy Roark the hero of the 
hour. If he brought a fowl that could whip 
Jay Bird the people of the community stood 
ready to give him a vote of thanks. The 
older persons of the neighborhood believed 
that if Smith could be outdone he might turn 
from his evil ways and discontinue the par- 

The Irishman's Game Cock 105 

ties at his place. All minds were on Paddy, 
who was admired, for his consummate nerve, 
by men, women and children. The small boy 
longed to be a man so that he could model 
after Paddy Roark, the Irishman. When 
Paddy attended church on Sunday, which he 
usually did, the pious communicants turned to 
look at him. He who dared accept Black 
John Smith's challenge was a mighty man. 

The last Saturday in October was the day, 
and Bald Knob, near McAlpine's creek, the 
place for the meet. 

Long before the appointed hour a crowd 
began to gather from three counties. Men 
came twenty miles to witness the fight. 

The woods that surrounded the open field 
in which the main was to take place were 
alive with horses and mules, and while the 
beasts of burden whinnied and brayed their 
owners discussed the approaching event. 
The mystery that surrounded Paddy Roark 
and his fowl had excited the quiet citizens of 
Providence as they had not been excited since 
the days of the Ku Klux Klan. John Smith, 
himself, looked pale and confused. Could 

io6 Tar Heel Tales 

he have done so gracefully, he would have 
crawfished, but it was too late to think of such 
a thing. He had to stand to the rack. 
Bright and early he was at the right place. 
Jay Bird had crowed until he was hoarse. 
He knew that something was in the wind and, 
from the attention he received, that he was to 
play a part. Hundreds of people called at 
his cage to see him. He was in fine form 
and looked every inch a fighter. 

Paddy Roark, who had not been in his 
usual haunts for several days, had not shown 
up. The friends of Smith were saying that 
the Irishman had fluked, but Paddy had back- 
ers aplenty, who assured one and all that he 
would be on time. Fifteen minutes before 
the hour arrived Paddy was not in sight. At 
ten of ten a shout broke on the eastern out- 
skirts of the mob. Paddy, riding a gray 
mule, came galloping over the hill, from to- 
wards Matthews, carrying a sack over his 
shoulder. As he dismounted from his nag 
an outburst of applause greeted him. 

It was, " Hurrah, for Paddy Roark, and 
his bird I" 

The Irishman's Game Cock 107 

*' Come on with your critter, whatever It 
be," responded the Smithites, " and Jay Bird 
will knock the filling out of himl " 

At this time the entire hillside was covered 
with a surging, wild-eyed human mass, each 
person seeking to get where he or she could 
see. Above the tumult and the shouting, the 
shrill cry of Jay Bird could be heard, assert- 
ing, " I can whip any cock in the land." 

Roark was literally mobbed by his friends, 
who asked : *' Paddy, have you brought your 
rooster? " 

*' What kind of a beast is he? " 
Can he do Jay Bird? " 
We're betting on him." 

*' Fetch him out, the time is most up." 

In the midst of this turmoil and chaos 
Paddy Roark was cool, calm and deliberate. 
He smoked his pipe, smiled and told the boys 
that they might stake all they had on 
" Jerry." 

His mule tied, Paddy started for the bat- 
tle-ground with his tow sack on his back; he 
would not show his bird to any one, but the 
bulk in one corner of the bag was encourag- 

io8 Tar Heel Tales 

ing. His supporters were cheering and sing- 
ing, " We'll hang Jay Bird on a sour apple 

As the hour hand moved toward ten the 
lord of The Elms and the Irish carpenter 
faced each other, the one holding a rooster 
and the other, the mouth of a bag. 

" Clear out ! Stand back ! Give the gen- 
tlemen room ! ** shouted the officer of the 

Paddy did not seem to be in any hurry. 
No one knew what his bag contained for all 
was quiet inside. 

" That's the deadest rooster ever," yelled 
someone in derision. " He's asleep. Wake 
up, birdie, day's breaking! " 

Paddy made no reply. He seemed satis- 
fied with himself and his ** boird." 

" All's ready! " shouted the umpire. 

" When I say ' three ' let them go ! " 

Paddy took hold of the bottom of the 
sack and made ready to empty the contents. 

The spectators at this juncture pressed 
against the ropes and stood on tiptoe to 
see Paddy's bird. When the word was given. 

The Irishman's Game Cock 109 

Jerry, a large, Muscovy drake, web-footed 
and clumsy, dropped Into the arena. The 
friends of Paddy were struck speechless, and 
the supporters of Jay Bird laughed boister- 
ously, treating the affair as a joke, but Jay 
Bird, and Jerry were serious, and went to 
sparring at each other. 

Paddy, too, was In earnest; knowing his 
champion he said: "He's all roight, boys. 
All hell can't thrip him." 

For a moment Jay Bird was disconcerted; 
although he had never seen a drake before, 
he did his best. He had fought turkeys, pea 
fowls and guineas, but not ducks. It was 
evident from the outset that Jerry knew what 
he was doing. He dodged beautifully and 
let the rooster pass over his head. Jay 
Bird's spurs would come together above his 
back every time. The fighting was not dull. 
Those who watched It felt that there were 
surprises ahead for the cock. Jerry was bid- 
ing his time, and It came by and by. Having 
knocked off the wire edge, without as much 
as touching the drake, Jay Bird settled down 
to a steady lick. That was just what Jerry 

flio Tar Heel Tales 

had hoped for; then he became more aggres- 
sive. Sallying forth, ducking and dodging a 
little, he caught his adversary by the back of 
the neck. Jay Bird pulled back, but Jerry 
did not turn loose until he had kicked him in 
the breast and beaten him over the head with 
his heavy wings. 

The pounding made the rooster furious, 
and he flew at his antagonist with more vim 
than ever, and that time the aim was accurate, 
the blow falling on the drake's head. 

It was Jerry's turn to be angry. He 
stepped back a step or two and prepared to 
meet Jay Bird. The chicken went with a 
rush, half running and half flying, and as he 
rose to strike, the duck fastened him in the 
throat, brought him down and thumped him 

The crowd was wild, but the battle had 
been so fast and furious and full of surprises 
that all looked on in silence, waiting to see the 
next move. 

At this stage of the game the drake did a 
wonderful feat. He ran into Jay Bird, took 
a firm hold upon his neck, rose and flew, like 

The Irishman's Game Cock iii 

a hawk. The trick was done so quickly that 
the engrossed onlookers did not realize for a 
second what had happened. The big duck, 
with Jay Bird In his mouth, was going toward 
the creek. The crowd whirled about and 
hurried after him. 

" It's all over now," Paddy cried; " Jerry 
will drown Jay Bird In Black John's swim- 
ming hole." 

When the boys arrived at the edge of the 
water, Jerry was catching tadpoles, having 
sunk the body of his foe. 

Black John Smith never recovered from 
the humiliating defeat and death of his roos- 
ter. The beginning of the end had come. 


THE colored people within a radius of 
twenty-five miles of Reding Springs 
camp ground. Union county, congregate there 
once a year, generally in August, after the 
crops are laid by, for a big religious revival. 
At Reding Springs they are far removed from 
white people, and surrounded by forests. 
They can camp out, eat, drink, preach and 
sing to their hearts' content without molest- 
ing anyone. Sometimes the meetings are 
brought to sudden conclusions by free-for-all 
fights, started by bullies, with rocks, pistols 
and razors, but this is an unusual thing for 
the good darkies of that section strive to keep 
down any unlawful disturbances. Old Satan, 
shrewd and alert always, enters the home of 
God's people occasionally and makes mis- 
chief. So it is at Reding Springs now and 

For almost a half century Reding Springs 


Arabella the Day After. 

Strange Vision of Arabella 113 

has been a popular camping place for the ne- 
groes of the Sandy Ridge region. They 
gather there and remain for weelcs, worship- 
ing according to their lights. Thousands of 
persons camp there during the meeting. 
They make the neighborhood dark with their 
presence and resound with their music. 

The Reding Springs meetings are not for 
the city-bred negro, with his lofty airs and 
college training, but for the country negro. 
There he feels at home, where he goes once 
every twelve months to repent of his sins, 
give in his experience and shout until weary. 
The religious enthusiast can sing, preach, 
pray or participate In any other seemly way 
in the services without restrictions. The par- 
son reads his text, closes the Bible, and 
preaches from memory. He gives out the 
hymns line at a time, and leads in the sing- 
ing, young and old, saint and sinner joining 
to make the welkin ring, no one feeling con- 
strained to curb his voice, the more force ap- 
plied the better, volume, not quality, being 

Dear reader, if you have followed me so 

114 Tar Heel Tales 

far, don't turn back now, for it is my purpose 
to tell you about Arabella Simpkins, the 
prophetess of the Reding Springs section. 
She was the sage of the community. The 
negroes feared her, and their fear was of the 
sort that made them want to get closer to 

Reding Springs negroes had cause to fear 
Arabella. The troubles that she predicted 
came true. She had foretold the storm that 
swept the harbor away in 1882; the earth- 
quake that shook the tents in 1886, and the 
bolt of lightning that set fire to the church in 
1898. She had seen these in visions and told 
of them as she shouted up and down the 
aisles of the camp grounds. The people had 
learned from experience that the predictions 
of Arabella came to pass; she had won the 
respect of the leaders, who looked upon her 
arrival as an omen for good or bad. She had 
never attended a meeting except to deliver 
herself of an abiding prophecy. Therefore, 
if Arabella appeared on the scene everybody 
gave way to her and listened with abated 
breath for her prediction, which she gave 

Strange Vision of Arabella 115 

when the meeting was at Its best, when ex- 
citement ran highest. Before the big negress 
could perform effectively, the preaching and 
singing had to be of such a character that the 
hearers cried and wrung their hands. Then, 
with the aisles and halls filled with shouting 
men and women and crying children, Ara- 
bella sallied forth from her seat, humming 
softly, walling her eyes and warming up as 
she went. 

It was a hot day In 19 — that I went with 
a party of young people to the Reding Springs 
camp meeting. We were Invited by some of 
the older darkles of Providence. It was said 
that Arabella was about due, as she had not 
been out In several years, and, hence, a good 
time to go. 

We arrived early Sunday morning, looked 
over the grounds and watched the crowds 
gather from the surrounding country. I en- 
joyed the preliminaries. I had never seen 
so many and such a variety of vehicles. The 
majority of the darkles came In wagons, sit- 
ting flat on the bottom, using wheat or oat 
straw as a cushion, while others rode In an- 

Ii6 Tar Heel Tales 

tiquated carriages, buggies and two-wheeled 
carts, some of which were drawn by oxen. 
The outskirts of the grounds were covered 
with canvas tents, where those from a dis- 
tance lived. 

Nothing out of the ordinary happened un- 
til ten o'clock, when I saw several old men 
and women, those high in the councils of the 
church, looking and pointing down the road 
toward Twelve-Mile creek. Going near, so 
that I could hear, I learned that an old sister 
had spied a covered wagon, and, as I ap- 
proached, she was saying: *' Dat sho' is 
Arabella Simpkins, and her top wagin, fur I 
knows dat ole yaller mule." 

" Sister Blue," said Parson Honeycutt, 
" Tm 'clined to b'lieve dat you is kerrect in yo' 
diagnosis uv de case, fur dat looks mighty lak 
Miss Simpkins on de front seat." 

" I's sho' uv it now," added Sister Blue, 
" fur dat's Cassar, her ole man, drivin' ; I 
knows his derby hat. Yes, sir, an' dere some- 
fin' on Arry's mind. We sho' is gwine to 
hear somefin' drap to-day." 

And so it proved. 

Strange Vision of Arabella 117 

Arabella was on the way. She and Caesar 
came driving a sorrel mule, whose mane and 
tail needed trimming. 

A chill passed over the crowd when it be- 
came generally known that the notorious Ara- 
bella was arriving. There was not a negro 
present who would not have given all he 
possessed to have been at home. But every 
one was too superstitious to run away; that 
would have brought bad luck. Therefore, 
with a kind of fear that produces confidence 
and brings hope the unhappy negroes col- 
lected about Arabella and offered their serv- 
ices, but with the air of a judge, who had the 
power to sentence to prison or death the en- 
tire crowd, she refused all proffers of help. 
The mule unhitched and tied to a dogwood 
sprout she went to the harbor and took a 
seat half way down the middle pew. Every 
person craned slyly his neck to see her. The 
prophetess sat, with her arms folded across 
her lap, silent and dignified. Caesar, who 
had escorted her in, seemed to be absorbed In 
some profound thought. No one went near 
the pair. 

ii8 Tar Heel Tales 

The older men of the congregation retired 
to the amen comer and sat like dummies 
waiting for the hour for the sermon to begin. 

Everybody was wild with pent-up excite- 
ment. There was anxiety in every eye. 
Feeling, though suppressed, ran high. 

Brother Honeycutt, trembling with emo- 
tion, announced that the ten-thirty service 
would begin with prayer and asked one and 
all to join him in a petition to the Lord for 
a successful meeting. He fell upon his knees 
and prayed long and earnestly, beseeching 
the Maker to stay the hand of the evil one 
and save the Reding Springs people from 
any great pending calamity. The fervent 
ones punctuated and punctured the prayer 
with hearty amens. Hymns were sung and 
the sermon commenced. At first there was 
nothing unusual about the services. They 
were like those of all negro meetings held in 
rural districts, except that the congregation 
seemed unusually quiet. The falling of a pin 
upon the floor could have been heard across 
the room. 

The arrival of Arabella had brought or- 

Strange Vision of Arabella 119 

der. The bravest of the rowdies would not 
have dared disturb the tranquillity of that 
meeting. A most pious and respectful body 
of worshippers it was! 

Along toward the latter part of the ser- 
mon Parson Honeycutt warmed up to his sub- 
ject and spoke with force and feeling, pictur- 
ing the scenes of judgment day, when all 
would be begging Peter for admittance to the 
Holy Land. His story and enthusiasm were 
calculated to touch the hardest-hearted sin- 
ner. As he moved on, swinging, half speak- 
ing and half singing, the audience became 
more and more interested. As he swayed to 
and fro behind the pulpit his hearers swung 
in sympathy. In conclusion he sung: 

" De ole time religion is good enough for 

It wuz good enough for Paul and Silas, 
An' it's good enough for me." 

The entire congregation chimed in and sang 
with spirit if not understanding. 

It was at this juncture that an over- 

I20 Tar Heel Talcs 

wrought sister, singing and crying at the top 
of her voice, " an' it's good enough fer me," 
rushed Into the aisle, clapping her hands, and 

The meeting was getting right then for 
Elder Brown, a man of piety and reverence, 
cried out: *' Dat's It, sister, tell It to 'em! '* 

A half-dozen women and two men joined 
the first shouter. 

" An' It's good enough fer me," yelled the 
preacher, slapping his big hands together; 
*' come on, brethren an' sistern, an' jine de 
moaners ! " 

Four-fifths of the congregation kept an eye 
on Arabella, knowing that It was only a ques- 
tion of time until she would come forward 
with a swing and a whoop, and tell what she 
had seen. 

The eager throng did not have to wait 
long, for Arabella was eager to get out, and 
deliver her message. Laying aside her hat 
and veil she waltzed out, humming softly, 
and sweetly. In a melodious voice, " An' I 
seed er vision, er vision, er vision ! " 

" I tole you so, honey, an' she's gwine 

Strange Vision of Arabella 121 

to tell it," shouted Uncle Jerry Howard, one 
of the class leaders. 

As she rose I got a good look at Arabella, 
and I was very much impressed with her mas- 
culine features. She weighed about 225 
pounds, was large of bone, muscular and 
black. She entered the aisle reeling and 

" Clar dc way dere," said Parson Honey- 
cutt, " an' let Miss Simpkins pass ! " 

" It sho' is de same ole Arabella," declared 
Class Leader Jones, " an' she's gut trouble 
on her mind des as sho' as you's born'd. 

" Come on. Sister Simpkins, an' don't keep 
us in dis agony! Tell de truf as you see it! 
Tell it an' let us prepare fer de wust! " 

" Dis mornin'," sang Arabella, " as I wuz 
er comin' er long-er de road, I seed er vision, 
er vision, er vision." 

"Tell it, sister; don't keep back nothin'. 
What wuz it you seed? " came from the amen 

" Yes, Brer Honeycutt, des as I started, an' 
as I wuz comin' down de road-er, I seed er 
vision, er vision, er vision ! " 

1122 Tar Heel Tales 

" Yes, Lawd! Tell It all, sister! What 
did you see? " 

" An' I looked back-er, an' seed it ergln- 

" Come on wid It, sister! Tell It all! '' 

" An' ft had-er long tall-er. Yes, Lawd, 
an' dat I did-er! " 

*' Come on, honey, what wuz It you 

By this time everybody else had quit shout- 
ing; Arabella had the floor to herself. Every 
neck was craned and every ear open to get 
what she said. 

" An' I look back-er, an' I seed dat It had 
er head-er, er head-er, er head-er! " 

*^What den, chile?" 

"An' er long body-er, body-er, body-er! 
An' legs-er, fo' long legs-er. Yes, yes, chil- 
lun, an' fo' legs-er! " 

While this was going on I could not keep 
my eyes off of Parson Honeycutt, the large, 
strlklng-looking preacher, who was very su- 
perstitious. I was afraid he would go Into 
convulsions. His eyes were stretched, his 
nostrils distended and his mouth In a quiver. 

Strange Vision of Arabella 123 

He leaned over the pulpit and listened intently 
at Arabella. He was anxious to hear her 
prediction. The suspense was telling on his 
nerves, and his heart. 

" What wuz it, sister? " he cried In his 

" An' I look back-er, an' seed dat it had a 
long pair years-er," continued Arabella. 

The excitement had reached Its zenith. 
The tension was greatest, and the crowd could 
constrain Itself no longer. The spell was 
broken when Elder Brown shouted: "An' 
thank Gawd it were a mule-erl " 

"Amen! " added the parson. 

" Hold me, hold me, hold me, ef you don't 
I'll fly away to glory an' leave you all," bel- 
lowed Arabella. 

" Brother Simpkins, hold yo' wife," cried 
a voice. 

Caesar Simpkins rose from his seat and 
started toward Arabella, who was prancing up 
and down the center aisle, but when she saw 
him coming she waved her hand at him and 

124 Tar Heel Tales 

'* GVay, Caesar, gVay, I don^t want you to 

hold me, 
Fs gut sugar an' molasses In my soul, 
An' I want's Brer Honeycutt to hold me." 

Parson Honeycutt hurried down from the 
rostrum, caught Arabella by the right arm, 
and they went up the aisle singing ^' Glory 

Arabella went Into a trance, fell In Brother 
Honeycutt's arms, and was carried out and 
laid upon the grass beneath a large oak tree, 
where she was permitted to cool off and 
" come around." 

The sequel : That afternoon, while on his 
way home. Brother Honeycutt was thrown 
from his roan mule. Napoleon Bonaparte, 
who became frightened at a toad hopping 
across the road, and had his left forefinger 

** I told you so I " said one and all. " Dat 
nigger's vision allers comes true." 


ON a sultry morning In August, nine- 
teen hundred and two, an ex-Confed- 
erate soldier, who had fought under Lee and 
Jackson, hobbled across Independence Square, 
bearing heavily upon his cane, on his way to 
the Mecklenburg county courthouse. From 
the opposite direction came a young fellow, 
with ruddy complexion, beaming face and 
springy step, en route to the railway station 
to take an early train for a neighboring town. 
The two, unexpectedly, came together In front 
of the Central Hotel and extended their right 
hands to each other. 

" Why, father," exclaimed the younger 
man, " what are you doing here this time of 

" Have you driven all the way from home 
this morning? " 

" Yes, son, I left the farm about daylight, 
and just this moment arrived. 


126 Tar Heel Tales 

" Jim IS in trouble again." 

" Another church row ? '* 

" Yes; a camp meeting this time." 

" Well, father, I think if I were in your 
place I would let that negro go to the roads. 
The ball and chain might improve him. He 
has given you no end of trouble and cost you 
some money; let him take his medicine." 

*' I don't know about that, Harry; your 
mother and I have decided to stand by him 
once more. He is a mighty good boy about 
the place and we have implicit confidence in 

" Yes, but he is forever fighting and get- 
ting in court. Let him go I " 

*' Well, son, his daddy. Old John, was a 
good darkey, and your grandfather would not 
like it if we were to let one of his old car- 
riage driver's boys go to prison if we could 
help It. 

" I know Jim is pretty bad about fighting 
negroes, but he Is a good hand, and we get 
on well with him." 

" How many negro meetings has he broken 
up since you hired him? " 

A Negro and His Friend 1127 

.'' " I don't know exactly, but would say four 
or five. He has a sort of mania for that. 
He Is always polite to us and never complains 
when asked to do extra work. We call on 
him to go errands at all hours of the day or 
night, and he goes cheerfully. I do not see 
how we could get on without him; he milks 
the cows if the cook Is sick, cuts the stove- 
wood and carries it in, churns if there Is no- 
body else to do it, feeds and curries the horses, 
helps your mother to make preserves, or pic- 
kles, or put up the fruit, and drives the car- 
riage to church on Sunday. 

" Yet, Harry if I had not known John and 
Mary, his parents, I might let him go without 
putting up a fight for him, but his daddy or 
mammy would have done anything for your 
mother, and your grandfather would turn 
over in his grave if he could know that I had 
not done my duty toward Jim. 

" I don't know how serious this last affair 
Is, but I will employ a lawyer and fight It 

Harry Brown did not leave the city that 
day but remained at home to see If he could 

128 Tar Heel Talcs 

be of service to his aged and decrepit father. 
He went to the jail and had a talk with Jim, 
who had been his childhood playmate, and 
learned his side of the case. 

" Mr. Harry, you think de jedge will make 
It putty hard on me?" asked Jim, as the 
young white man turned to leave. 

" I can't say, Jim, but he Is a strict church 
man — a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian — and It 
would be difficult to predict the result. If it 
Is possible to keep your fighting record out of 
court I think we can get him to be merciful, 
but If some one lugs your past In, then, with 
this Puritanical judge, you may take a tumble 
toward the chain-gang." 

" Orh, Mr. Harry, you don't think no 
white jedge wud send a good nigger lak me 
to de roads des fur breakin' up a nigger camp 
meetin', do you? " 

" Things have changed, Jim. You can't 
tell nowadays, since the people have become 
so particular about drinking, gambling, and 
the like, what a judge will do. I'm a little 
uneasy about you." 

" Well, Mr. Harry, tell Marse Henry to 

A Negro and His Friend 129 

Stan' by me des one mo' time, an' den I'll do 
better. Ef I gits out dis time I sho' will 
'have mysef." 

Jim Parks was the kind of negro that one 
finds about oldtlme Southern country homes: 
as black as the ace of spades, with a mouth 
full of pretty white teeth, every one as sound 
as a silver dollar, and muscular and active. 
There were but few things about the farm 
that he could not do when he tried. Every- 
body, even the other negroes, liked him. 
With white people he was mannerly, pleasant 
and obliging, always, and those who knew 
him at the Brown home, as he went about 
his work, could not believe the stories they 
heard of his midnight brawls and dark-house 
fights at negro gatherings. Usually he was 
such a happy-go-lucky chap that his white 
friends could not Imagine him in the role of 
a bully. 

But Jim Parks at home, among his white 
folks, and Jim Parks abroad, with the people 
of his own race, were different persons — a 
Dr. Jekel and a Mr. Hyde. 

At noon, Saturday, the last day of the 

130 Tar Heel Tales 

Mecklenburg court, Judge Shaler presiding, 
Solicitor Bluelaw called the ZIon Camp 
Meeting case, and put Rev. Archie Degraffen- 
reld LaFayette Small, colored, on the 

" Parson," said the prosecuting attorney, 
" tell the court what took place at the camp 
ground that Sunday." 

" Yes, sir; it wuz lak dis: Vd been in de 
pulpit about two minutes, gettin' ready to 
preach de eight o'clock sermon, when I seed a 
commotion in de grounds, about two-hund'd 
yards away, an' twuzn't long 'fo' I heard a 
pistol crack, an' dere wuz a scatteration of 

" Who used the weapon? " 

" I heard 'em say it wuz dis here Jim 
Parks — dat boy over dere." 

" Don't tell what you heard," said CoL 
Calvin Tedder, attorney for the defense, 
" but what you actually saw." 

"Yes, sir; well de moist dat I seed wuz 
folks runnin' — gittin' away frum dere." 

" Did you hear more than one pistol 
shot? " asked the solicitor. 

A Negro and His Friend 131 

"Yes, sir; some several shots. In fact, 
sir, dey come so fas' dat I couldn't give out 
de hymn fur hearin' 'em." 

*' You were pretty badly frightened, were 
you not? " 

" 'Cose I wuz, sir, an' I ain't shame to say 
it. I felt my legs trimblin', an' I couldn't 
keep my eye on de book. 

" Yes, sir, de public worship wuz already 
disturbed. Ef de shootin' had stopped dere 
de law wuz done broke. 

" Yes, sir." 

" Is this defendant the man who created 
the disturbance in the yard? " 

"Yes, sir; he's de one, fur I knows him 
well. He's de one dat tuck Brother Jones' 

"How is that?" asked the court, inter- 

" Yes, sir, please yo' honor, it wuz lak dis: 
Brother Jones, uv de Sandy Creek kermunity, 
focht a load uv watermillons an' wuz sellin' 
'em, when dis man Parks come out uv one uv 
de tents an' pick out a big millon an' 'low: 
* I'll des take dis one wid me.' 

132 Tar Heel Tales 

" * Not till you give me thirty-five cents,' 
says Brother Jones, dis lak dat. 

" * Take dat,' said dis boy, pitchin' Brother 
Jones a nickel. 

" Dat wuz de start uv it, an' one word 
brought on another 'till Parks jerked out his 
gun an*^ 'fell to shootin'." 

*^ Who did he shoot at?" 

** Brother Jones." 

"What did Jones do?" 

" Run, sir. De last time I seed 'im wuz 
when he struck de woods 'bout half mile 

" It's generally time to run when this ne- 
gro gets after you with a revolver, ain't it? " 
asked the solicitor. 

*' Yes, sir. He's gut de reputation uv be- 
in' mighty handy wid his gun." 

" What followed? Tell the whole story." 

" Well, sir, befo' Brother Jones wuz out 
uv sight good, dis Jim Parks come to de arbor 
an' saunter down de aisle." 

" Did you see him? " 

" 'Cose I did; I wuz makin' out lak I wuz 
readin' de hymn, but de truf wuz I had my 

A Negro and His Friend 133 

eye on dat nigger, 'cause I knowed 'Im uv 

'' Go ahead; tell what you saw." 
" Yes, sir. I know'd dat I couldn't hold 
de 'tension uv de crowd arter he 'peared on 
de scene, but I wuz gwlne to try to tame 'im. 
Brother Smith, one uv my right-hand men, 
had done had some 'sperlence wid de boy, an' 
he fainted over In de amen corner, fell off 
de bench an' rolled under It. When I seed 
dat, I wuz sorter confused, fur I wuz lookln' 
fur Brother Smith to he'p me out. 

" DIs Jim, he come on down de aisle, grln- 
nln', until he gut 'bout half way to de pulpit, 
an' den he stop an' take out his 'volver, a 
black lookln' one, as fur as I kin reckerlec', 
an' look at me an' say: * Big Nigger, we 
ain't gwlne to have no eight o'clock service 
dis mornin'. Church Is out.' " 

" What did you say to that, Parson? " 
^' Not wantin' to cross 'Im, I 'low : * 'Cose 
It Is, 'cose it Is — we ain't gwlne to argify 
'bout dat, Brother Parks.' " 

" You called him Brother Parks? " 

*' Yes, sir, I wuz tryin' to make up to 'im." 

134 Tar Heel Tales 

"What did he do then?" 
*' He take aim at me an' say: * Come on 
down, Big Nigger I Come on down! An' 
don't be so long 'bout it ! ' 

*' Seein' dat he wuz meanin' bizness I 'low: 
* Yes, Brother Parks, I's comin',' but 'fo' I 
coul' git It out he wuz pintin' his gun at 

" Go on ! " demanded the solicitor, in an 
excited tone of voice. 

" I heard de pistol say * click, click.' I 
don't know what happened arter dat fur I lef ' 
dere right den, goin' th'ough de hole at de 
back uv de pulpit. As I lef he wuz cockin' 
de 'volver but when I heard de 'port I wuz 
crossin' Mr. Bob Bell's paster fence several 
hund'd yards away." 

" Did he shoot directly at you? " 
" I can't say as to dat, but as I went over 
de fence I heard de ball ajunin' putty close 
to my year." 

" What became of the congregation? " 
" Moist uv it went th'ough de woods des 
a little ahead uv me. Yes, sir. I think some 
uv de younger ones staid an' fout." 

A Negro and His Friend 135 

*' That will do, don't tell what you think," 
shouted Col. Tedder. 

" Well, dat's all I seed fur I never went 
back no mo' 'till nex' day, an' de fightin' 
crowd wuz gone." 

The essential features of Parson Small's 
testimony were corroborated. Several of the 
officers of the church gave their versions of 
the affair. Everybody seemed to be against 

Col. Tedder was afraid to put his client 
on the stand lest his court record be produced. 
He rested his case after making a short ram- 
bling speech. After remaining out three 
minutes the jury came In and rendered a ver- 
dict of guilty. 

Col. Tedder spoke eloquently for mercy 
for his negro, saying that he was a good dar- 
key, except now and then when he drank a 
little too much. 

" Stand up here, Jim Parks," said the 
judge, when Col. Tedder sat down. 

*' What do you mean by disturbing public 

136 Xar Heel Tales 

" Why do you persist In breaking up camp 

*' Don't you know that it is wrong? " 

" Yes, sir, Jedge, an' I ain't gwlne to do 
it no mo'. Ef you'll des let me off dis time, 
so dat I kin go home wid Marse Henry, I'll 
be a good nigger de res' uv my life. 

" No, sir, Marse Jedge, you needn't worry 
'bout dis nigger no mo', 'cause he ain't gwlne 
to come back here ef he live a hund'd years." 

" That Is very fine talk but you don't mean 
it," declared the court. " Nothing short of 
the chain-gang will cure you. I will sentence 
you — " 

" Hold on, boss, ain't you gwlne to let 
Marse Henry say a word fur de ole nigger? " 

" He's already said that you were all right 
except about fighting negroes. The court 
must protect all classes of citizens. I will 
give you nine months." 

" Amen ! " whispered Parson Small. 

'Squire Brown dropped his head to keep 
from meeting Jim's, tearful eyes, as the boy 
marched out to the jail, handcuffed to two 
other culprits. 

A Negro and His Friend 137 

" That was about a: I anticipated," said 
Harry to his father, as they left the court- 
house. " Jim's reputation hurt him with the 
judge. If you had been In Judge Shaler's 
place you would have done the same thing." 

" Yes, I think you are right, but I don't 
like to see the boy go that way. It would 
cost close to seventy dollars to get him out; 
he owes me something now; I have not the 
money to spare, and cannot afford to pay him 
more than ten dollars a month if I have him. 

*' He will have to go this time." 

This was the sorrowful admission of 
'Squire Brown. 

"I think you are right; let him try the 
road awhile," added the less sentimental son. 

" Now, good-bye ; if I run upon a respecta- 
ble-looking negro that I think would suit you 
and mother, I will send him to you." 

'Squire Brown collected his packages and 
set out for home, a long, lonesome ride 
through the country, over seventeen miles of 
macadam road, that hot, dusty night. He 
needed Jim, and did not like to see him go to 
prison, but could not prevent it. The old 

138 Tar Heel Tales 

place would not seem the same without the 
little black negro, with his merry laugh and 
shining face. 

" I don't understand why the little rascal 
cannot behave/' said the 'Squire to himself, as 
his horse jogged along. 

That evening, when he drove up to the 
lot gate, Mrs. Brown, who had been looking 
for him for hours, called out in a strident 
voice: "Well, did you bring Jim?'* 

" No, I am sorry to say, he went to jail in 
spite of all I could do; the judge was preju- 
diced against him. He will have to serve 
nine months on the chain-gang." 

*' That is too bad," said Mrs. Brown. 
" Jim is a good darkey." 

" Yes," put in the 'Squire, " but he will 
break up camp meetings. 

" I did all I could, employed a lawyer, 
spoke to the solicitor, and swore a half-lie 
about Jim's character." 

Bright and early Monday, 'Squire Brown 
and his son, Harry, met on the Square in 
Charlotte, just as they had met two mornings 

A Negro and His Friend 139 

" I am surprised, Dad, to see you here 
again ? '* said die boy, frowning. 

" Why, your mother and I, after thinking 
the matter over yesterday, decided to take 
Jim out; It win cost $65, but I am going to 
do It. I have borrowed the money, and will 
take the negro home with me." 

"You are a good one, father — you and 
mother — taking Jim out of jail, but there 
Is something about that sort of thing that I 
like," said the son, smiling. " Race prob- 
lem? Negro haters? Why ask who Is the 
negro's friends when Incidents like this occur 
every day? " 

Harry, who had been traveling In the East 
and West for four or five years, did not feel 
about the negro as he once did. Being In 
constant touch with the old cornfield darkey 
'Squire Brown had a different viewpoint. 
The kindly feeling that the younger man once 
had was passing away. 

Late that afternoon, In a cloud of summer 
dust, 'Squire Brown and Jim Parks, his negro, 
drove out South Tryon street toward Plne- 
vUle, and In passing in front of The Observer 

140 Tar Heel Tales 

building Jim caught sight of Harry, turned 
in the buggy and shouted back : *' Good-bye, 
Mr. Harry, me an' Marse Henry's gwlne 
home to see your Maw. Be a good boy, an' 
don't let de jedgc git you. 'Have yo'se'f, an' 
stay out uv cote, but ef you do git In, by acci- 
dent, des lak I done, don't have Col. Tedder 
to 'fend you, onless you spects to go right on 
to jail." 

" No wonder the old folks like the black 
scamp," said Harry, laughing to himself. 
" He's an Interesting negro." 

There was great rejoicing on the Brown 
place that night when the 'Squire and Jim ar- 
rived. Ella, Jim's wife, was beside herself, 
and 'Squire and Mrs. Brown were almost as 
happy. Everybody, white and black, was de- 

The following December, after the cotton, 
the corn, the potatoes, and the fruit had been 
gathered, Harry visited his parents at the old 
place. In driving down the lane he observed 
that the little log cabin, formerly occupied by 
Jim and Ella, was empty, and when the black 
worthy failed to show up to take the horse. 

A Negro and His Friend 141 

as he had done many times before, he asked 
of his father what had become of the negro. 

" He's gone to South Carolina," said the 



"What did he leave for?" 

" Why, he got In a little trouble out at 
Jones' Chapel, where the colored people were 
having some kind of a church festival, and 
the officers were after him." 

" He jumped the game, and left you In 
the lurch?" 

" No; I told him to run so that they could 
not serve a warrant on him." 

" And you a justice of the peace, too? " 

" Yes ; I wasn't elected to try my own ne- 

"How much does Jim owe you?" 
I don't know, exactly." 
A pretty good sum, I guess? " 

" That sixty-five and a little more for ra- 

"Will you ever get it?" 

" Oh, yes, if Jim is ever able he will pay 


THE burial of Uncle Billy Malone, of 
Jackson county, by his intimate friends 
and boon companions, was one of the stran- 
gest funerals ever held in North Carolina, or 
anywhere else; it was a clear case of birds of 
a feather flocking together even unto the 

Everybody in Jackson knew or knew of 
Uncle Billy Malone, the blacksmith-horse- 
trader; he was one of the few very interesting 
characters of the county. His chief end in 
life seemed to be a burning desire to satisfy an 
unquenchable thirst for strong drink. He 
was a confirmed toper, and all of his personal 
friends were of the same persuasion. 

Uncle Billy and his associates made it a 
rule for years to assemble at Washington, the 
county seat of Jackson, every off day — every 
Saturday, every wet day, every holiday, in 
fact, every day they could, and drink the 


Faithful Unto Death 143 

health of each other, the state and the nation. 
It was a jolly lot and Uncle Billy, the dean, 
was the oldest of them all; his son Sid, the 
youngest, and Col. William LaFayette, the 
wisest. The little circle numbered eight, and 
It was a close corporation while the cup passed 
around. Whiskey was the besetting sin of 
each and every one of them, who drank when« 
ever he could, and wherever he could. 

Col. LaFayette was a tenant farmer — a 
typical tenant farmer of a class that lived 
in the cotton-producing section of the South 
after the civil war. During the days of slav- 
ery he served as overseer for small slave- 
owning landlords. Most of his kind moved 
to the towns of the Piedmont counties of the 
Southern States when cotton mills began to 
flourish and put their children at work at the 
spindle and the loom. The sorrier ones be- 
came vampires. 

In appearance Col. LaFayette was a freak, 
but in manner, a sort of shabby-genteel Ches- 
terfield. He was a cadaverous-looking fel- 
low, with long body, long legs, and long arms, 
and thin, sharp, pointed face. The oldest 

144 Tar Heel Tales 

citizen of his county did not remember to 
have seen him In well-fitting clothes. His 
shirt sleeves were too short, and his trousers 
never reached the top of his shoes. He ha- 
bitually wore a slouch hat, with one side up 
and the other down, and went with his shirt 
front open and his shoes loosely laced. 

Picture him In your mind, trudging his way 
to town to join his chums at The Merry Bowl, 
Jim Roediger's saloon! Any excuse took 
him In, for he was always certain that his 
friends, all of whom, save Uncle Billy, were 
fellow tillers of the soil, would meet him 
there. No particular day was set but the 
little band of drinking cronies came together 
like iron filings to a magnet. If any one 
failed to appear something serious had hap- 
pened to prevent his coming. Jim Boggs, 
Pete Blue, Sam Helms, Mike Broom and Bob " 
Sink belonged to the coterie. 

Such were the running mates of Uncle Bill 
Malone; all good fellows, and harmless, ex- ' 
cept to their own constitutions. They stood 
In their own light but no one could say aught 
against any of them, barring the fact that he 

Faithful Unto Death 145 

drank to excess, and that was a common com- 
plaint at that time. They had lived together 
so long, and enjoyed one another's society to 
such an extent that, up to the time of Uncle 
Billy's death, with the exception of a few 
business associations, they shunned the rest of 
mankind, not that they were ashamed but that 
ordinary men bored them. Their circle was 

On a cold — bitter cold — night in De- 
cember, 18 — , the angel of death knocked at 
the cabin door of Uncle Billy Malone. With- 
out warning, and suddenly, the call came. 
The old man had not been feeling well for 
several days, but he had not complained to his 
companions. The facts concerning his last 
moments are not known to the outside world. 
The curtain is down and no one can say how 
Uncle Billy passed from life to eternity. But 
the charitable m.ust believe that he was sober 
and clothed in his right mind. 

The day before the summons came De Ate, 
as the party was known, foregathered at The 
Merry Bowl and drank until late. Sid and 
his father got home just before dark. The 

1^6 Tar Heel Tales 

next morning, when the son went to arouse 
his father, he found his body cold In death. 

But, let us turn to the funeral! 

Sid Malone behaved like a child in the 
presence of death. The very thought of be- 
ing alone and face to face with a dead kins- 
man seemed to unnerve him. There was but 
one definite idea in his head and that was that 
his father had to be buried. 

" Who IS to do It? '' he asked himself. 

" Why, his friends ! '* was the natural an- 

" Who, Col. LaFayette, and the others of 
De Ate?" 

Those were the only friends he knew. He 
had not been to church in forty years, and no 
preacher had ever put foot in his home. 

" Is there no woman or minister of the gos- 
pel? " asked Sid. 

" Not one," echo answered. 

With these thoughts running through his 
mind Sid mounted his mule and started to the 
several homes of his friends to announce the 
sad news. He had not gone far when he met 
Col. LaFayette and others, riding through 

Faithful Unto Death 147 

eight inches of snow, on their way to Wash- 
ington for a drinking frolic. Thinking of 
nothing but the exhilarating glass that 
awaited them at The Merry Bowl, they did 
not recognize Sid Malone as he came riding 
down the road. 

The death of his father had softened Sid, 
and his heart was sore. When his compan- 
ions came in sight he was thinking of the un- 
certainty of life and the certainty of death, a 
subject he had never considered before. The 
turning place for him, he argued, had come. 
But alas I he met his old cronies, and the flow 
of serious thought was diverted. 

" Turn back, boys, don't go to town to- 
day," said Sid, as he recognized his pals. 
" Turn back, my daddy's daid I '* 

*' Oh, Sid, don't tell me that your daddy 
air daid,'* cried Col. LaFayette, throwing up 
his hands at the unexpected and shocking an- 
nouncement. "How kin It be?" 

" It shore is the truth, and I want you fel- 
lers to help me give him a decent burial." 

"Well, Sid, there ain't nothin* that I 
wouldn't do for Uncle Billy Malone, daid or 

148 Tar Heel Tales 

alive, and as quick as I go up town and tend 
to a little bizness I'll be wid you/' 

Col. LaFayette had his mind fatally fixed 
on The Merry Bowl, and he felt compelled to 
have a drink before he could do anything else, 
but, be it said to his credit, that although his 
tongue was dry and his head set on the saloon, 
his heart — a large, warm one — was with 
his dead comrade. He was loyal and true to 
his friends, and Uncle Billy stood at the head 
of the list. 

He went to The Merry Bowl — he and all 
of his associates except Sid, who went to the 
church to have a grave prepared — took a 
round or two of drinks and bought several 
bottles to carry away with them. Having 
thus fortified against the cold and the dreary 
hours ahead the six companions of the Ma- 
lones repaired to the little home on the out- 
skirts of the town, and began the watch over 
Uncle Billy's remains. 

Sid Malone and his father lived in a two- 
roomed log house, which had been built two 
generations before. They had been the sole 
occupants since the death of Mrs. Malone, 

Faithful Unto Death 149 

mother and wife, twenty years prior to that 
time. It was a wretched, poverty-stricken 
place, unkept and dilapidated. 

Here, on the day of the funeral, the friends 
of the late lord and master of the hut sat in 
silence, doing what they deemed to be the 
right thing toward their departed comrade. 
The six, with solemn faces, sat looking in the 
fire that crackled away on the hearth. Deep 
down they were sorrow-stricken but, withal, 
the thirst that never dies tugged at them. 
At first, when one felt that it was Impossible 
to do without a drink any longer, he would 
rise and steal quietly out, step aside, and touch 
his flask. This was out of respect to the 
memory of Uncle Billy. However, this for- 
mality did not continue long for, Inside of two 
hours, the boys were drinking in the good old 
way, and In the presence of the corpse. 

Sid returned about noon, broken and de- 
jected, and was prevailed upon to take a cup 
or two for his nerves. 

** It's mighty hard, fellers," said Col. La- 
Fayette, '' but we can not undo what has been 
done. The Father of All intended that we 

ISO Tar Heel Tales 

should go just like Uncle Billy went. I hope 
that my takin' off will be as sudden and as 
unlooked-for as his. I have my thoughts 
about the hereafter, but I hope to be with my 
friends. Let us drink one glass In honor of 
our old friend who has gone on before ! '^ 

The frequent drinks of whiskey had lifted 
the sorrow from the hearts of the little 
band of associates. 

After dinner, while a heavy snow fell, the 
friends of Uncle Billy Malone put the body 
in a pine coffin, one made for the purpose by 
the dead man, and bore It to Its last resting 
place. A hand-car, which was operated on 
a spur of a trunk-line road, was used In place 
of a hearse. The mourners staggered by the 
car and shoved it along the rails. On the 
way the casket fell off but was soon replaced.. 
The drinking begun early In the morning, had 
been kept up all day, and Col. LaFayette and 
his friends were pretty rocky. 

When the funeral party reached the church, 
Bellevue Chapel, there was no one to greet It. 
Simp Syder, the colored grave digger, was 
the only living creature In sight. The trees. 

Faithful Unto Death 151 

the church top, and the tombstones were cov- 
ered with snow, and everything seemed dead 
and cold. 

The corpse was carried to the open grave 
and let down. After the ropes were pulled 
out the associates of the late Uncle Billy 
Malone stood and looked at each other, in- 
quiring in a mute way: " Is it possible that 
no one can say a word — a last word — for 
the old man? " 

Col. William LaFayette, big-hearted fel- 
low that he was, arose to the emergency. 
Looking in the grave, at the coffin, and then 
passing his eyes from man to man, he knew 
that the task had fallen on him. He read 
in the faces of the others that he was ex- 
pected to perform the last rites and ceremo- 
nies over the body of their departed friend. 
On realizing this, he said: "Stand 'round 
the grave, boys, and pull off your hats. Git 
as close as you can. 

" There air nobudy here — no preacher, 
nor weemens, or the like of that — to say 
nuthing, and It just won't do to bury a man 
like Uncle Billy Malone without something 

152 Tar Heel Tales 

being said; if nobudy else will say it, I will. 

'' Here air the body of Uncle Billy Ma- 
lone, and he air daid. He was as good-er 
man as ever lived, and you all know it. And 
we air every one drunk, and I would go fur- 
ther to remark, and to say, that if Uncle 
Billy were here, he'd be drunk, too. 

" Let's all hope that he's gone to the Good 
Place, for he was a mighty good man. 
That's all. 

" If any of the rest of you have got any- 
thing to say, say it now, for it will be too 
late to-morrow." 

That closed the ceremonies. The grave 
was filled in, and the more tender-hearted ones 
of the party dropped tears on the red clay 
that covered the old fellow's body. It was a 
solemn scene, there in the snow-covered grove, 
near the church. Uncle Billy's friends had 
remained faithful to the last. They had done 
the best they knew how. 



THIS is a story of North Carolina Fusion 
days, two years before the Constitu- 
tional amendment, disfranchising the negro, 
was adopted. In 1896 the Populists, man- 
aged by Senator Marion Butler, of Sampson, 
and the Republicans by Senator Jeter C. 
Pritchard, of Buncombe, were standing to- 
gether in the State for mutual benefit — for 
pelf and pie — what most all active politi- 
cians stand together for. The Democrats 
were down and out. Ex-Judge Daniel L. 
Russell, of Wilmington, and Hon. Oliver H. 
Dockery, of Mangum, both of the sixth con- 
gressional district, were the candidates for the 
Republican nomination for Governor, which, 
at that time, meant an election. Charlotte, 
Union, Anson, Richmond, Robeson, New 
Hanover and other counties were in the Shoe- 
string district. 


154 Tar Heel Tales 

The Republicans were very busy. 

That being before the negro was disfran- 
chised, the Republican party in this immediate 
section of the State was largely composed of 
Afro-Americans. A county convention was 
held in Charlotte, and it was as black 
as Africa. Of course there was a sprinkling 
of white men in it, but nine out of ten of the 
delegates were colored. The Dockeryites 
and the Russellites came close to blows. 
There were rumors of wars, but no blood was 

Every county in the district had had a sim- 
ilar convention and named delegates to the 
Maxton meeting. 

The all-absorbing question was : " Arc 
you for Dockery or Russell? " 

Mr. Dockery was known as the " Great 
Warhorse of the Pee Dee," and Mr. Russell 
as " The Mighty Dan of New Hanover." 

The Maxton convention promised a live 
newspaper story. Unless the hand writing 
on the wall had been misread there was blood 
on the moon. Some sort of a fight seemed 

"Red Buck" .I5i 

certain if the delegates of the Shoestring dis- 
trict ever got together. 

It was at Maxton, as a common reporter, 
that I got my nickname, Red Buck, now a 
nom de plume. When the fight became 
warm I bolted without waiting ceremonies. 

We, the Mecklenburg delegates to the dis- 
trict convention, and I, my paper's rehance 
for the story of the day, left Charlotte on the 
early train, a bright spring morning, and jour- 
neyed eastward. 

At Monroe the Union delegation got 
aboard, and at Wadesboro the Anson, and at 
Rockingham and Laurinburg, the Richmond. 

The train was literally filled with negroes. 
I had a dull time with that crowd until we 
got to Rockingham, where Claude Dockery, 
whom I had met at the State University at 
Chapel Hill several years prior to that, joined 
the party and introduced me to the most Inter- 
esting character in the Dockery contingent, 
Rich Lilly, a tall, wiry, limber negro, with 
juicy mouth and knappy, dusty head. Rich 
was going to do what he could toward the 

156 Tar Heel Tales 

nomination of his old friend, Col. Oliver 
Dockery. Somewhere between Rockingham 
and Maxton Rich and I were thrown together, 
when no one else was near. Rich beckoned 
to me and dodged behind a freight car and, in 
order to see what he wanted, I followed. 

" Boss, is you gwine to Maxton? " asked 
Rich, holding his right hand under his coat 
tail as if to draw his gun. 

*' Yes, sir. That is where I am bound 

*' Well, say, boss, here's des' a little uv 
Duckery's best, won't you have er drink? " 

" No, thank you, I don't drink," said I. 

*' Looker here, boss, you mus' not be no 
delegate? " 

" No, I am not." 

" Well, Is yer gwine to de convention? " 

" Yes.'* 

The train started and we got aboard. Eich 
could not understand; my attitude toward his 
elixir of life astonished him. 

About 12 o'clock the convention met in 
a large hall, provided with a rostrum, over 
a store on Main street. The hall, having 

"Red Buck" 157 

been used for a buggy warehouse, had a tram- 
way that led from the sidewalk to the floor. 
Up this broad and slanting way the delegates 
and spectators traveled. I was one among 
the first to arrive, with a chair that I bor- 
rowed, a small lapboard and a tablet, and 
took my seat on the rostrum, in the north cor- 
ner, against the rear wall, near a window that 
looked out on a back lot, believing that I had 
selected the best place in the house for my 

At the appointed hour the hall was well 
filled with people, principally negroes. See- 
ing Mr. Claude Dockery talking and laugh- 
ing with me. Rich Lilly became curious again, 
and, when no one was about, he came up, 
looked me in the eye and asked: *' Boss, for 
Gawd's sake, whut Is you gwine ter do ef 
you ain't no dellgate." 

" I am going to sit here and watch you Re- 
publicans, take notes and write you up In the 
paper if you don't behave yourselves," was 
my reply. 

" O, you's er writer fur de paper? " 

" Yes." 

158' Tar Heel Tales 

" I sees." 

I do not recall any but the more violent 
Incidents of the convention. As I sat there 
and watched the various delegations take their 
seats, a looker-on in Vienna pointed out some 
of the celebrities. 

" That man with the long beard and long 
fig-stemmed pipe, Is Dr. R. M. Norment, of 
Lumberton," said my coach. " The man 
with the cripple hand is Col. B. Bill Terry. 
The long-armed man with abbreviated trous- 
ers and coat sleeves, Is Speaking Henry Cov- 

Many others were named, but I have for- 
gotten most of them. Later Big Bill Sutton, 
of Bladen, came In. He did not belong to 
the convention, but it was understood that he 
was there to lead the Russell forces in a rough- 
house affair If his services were needed. 

No one would have Imagined that the 
quiet, lifeless body of men of the first half 
hour of the convention would become the mob 
that It did before the day was over. 

The trouble began when the convention 
voted on a permanent chairman, each side 

*^ Red Buck" 159 

claiming the majority when the balloting was 
over. The god of peace had quit the meet- 
ing and the devil taken possession. Mr. A. 
M. Long, of Rockingham, a handsome man, 
with good face, was put up by the Dockery- 
ites, and a Wilmington negro by the Russell- 
ites. Both Mr. Long and the darkey tried 
to take the seat, each mounting the rostrum 
and seizing a chair. 

This was the signal for a general fight, 
which began on the stage. 

Knowing the power of Speaking Henry's 
lungs the Dockery delegates began to yell 
*' Covington," " Covington," *' speech," but 
in the meantime the Wilmington negro, the 
Russell chairman, had been deprived of his 
seat by force. Mr. Long held his with a 
brace of Colts. 

I want the reader to understand that the 
fight then in progress was none of my affair. 
To tell the whole truth I did look on with 
considerable satisfaction until I saw two or 
three men produce pistols; from that time I 
had one eye on the convention and the other 
looking for a way to escape. 

i6o Tar Heel Tales 

Every fighting man was coming to the ros- 
trum, throwing nervous delegates out of the 
way as he advanced. 

Rich Lilly brought first blood. The calls 
for Henry Covington, the supple man with 
the oily tongue, were heeded by that gentle- 
man, who was just as fearless as wordy, and 
while others glared and swore at each other 
he was making the welkin ring with Dockery 
thunder. No man ever made more gestures 
and took longer strides than did Speaking 
Henry that afternoon. 

With a quart of mean liquor in his stomach 
and a cigarette In his mouth, Rich Lilly, the 
warmest Dockerylte of them all, pranced be- 
hind Mr. Covington, following him with his 
hands and feet as far as he could without 
injuring himself. 

Seeing this double-barreled performance I 
lost sight of the free-for-all fight on the op- 
posite side of the stage. It wasn't what Mr. 
Covington said but the way he said it that at- 
tracted. Except for the difference in color 
one would have taken Speaking Henry and 
Rich Lilly for the Gold Dust twins. 

"Red Buck" i6i 

" Tell It to 'em ! " shouted Rich, every 
time he hit the floor. 

" Yes, Lawd, let 'em have It. Dere ain't 
no candl-date but Col. Duckery ! " 

Tiring of this, a Russell man In the back 
section of the hall roared out : " Five dollars 
for the man who will pull that long-legged 
devil down from there." 

No sooner had the offer been made than 
did a short, stocky, big-headed negro, with a 
Van Dyke beard, start from the fifth row of 
seats toward the stand to catch Covington by 
the leg. 

I mounted my chair to see. Having the 
advantage of the pedestal I could take in 

Speaking Henry had charged and jumped 
and squatted and bounced until his trousers, 
all too short, had climbed nearly to his knees 
and his heavy home-knit socks had fallen over 
his shoe tops. He was about ready to fly 
when the designing negro reached out for his 
thin, bare shank. 

But there came a turn; Rich Lilly, who had 
heard the offer and seen the negro start and 

1 62 Tar Heel Tales 

wend his way to the stage, was guarding the 
speaker. Just as the Wilmington delegate 
made a pass at the Dockery speaker, Rich 
bowed his back, like a Thomas cat, ducked, 
shot forward and gave him a blow between 
the eyes and floored him. Speaking Henry 
never let up. In fact, he never knew what 
had happened until the convention was over. 
Rich resumed his antics until he recalled the 
fact that I was taking notes and then rushed 
back to where I had dropped into my seat, 
put his hands on my knees, looked me In the 
face and asked, seriously: *' Say, boss, did I 
act lak er delegate? " 

" Yes, indeed, do it again." 

To my certain knowledge Rich hammered 
five other delegates after that and came to 
see if I approved of the manner in which he 
did it. 

But I was forced to forget Speaking Henry 
and Rich Lilly. Other incidents, more excit- 
ing and more strenuous, were in progress. 
Big Bill Sutton had come upon the rostrum 
and was throwing delegates east and west. 
Having the advantage of a tremendous frame 

"Red Buck'' 163 

and a notorious reputation as a scrapper he 
walked roughshod over less fortunate ones. 
But there was one man, with a keen eye, an 
Iron face and frosted hair, that was not afraid 
to face him, and that was Mr. Dan Morrison, 
of Rockingham, 9, Republican leader at that 

As old man Bill surged on the rostrum his 
son, Dave, screamed back at Henry Coving- 
ton from the hall. I saw Mr. Morrison climb 
on the rostrum, and knew that he was mad. 
He and Big Bill glowered at each other for 
an instant at twenty paces. Two seconds 
later they were rushing at each other, like 
vicious dogs. They did not have a head-on 
collision, but side-swiped. The Rockingham 
man got the best of the first round; he tore 
Sutton's collar and tie from his neck and 
held It between the thumb and forefinger, so 
that all might see. Friends Interfered and 
prevented an ugly affair. 

** Clear the rostrum ! " shouted some one 
from the hall. 

That is what the chairmen and their friends 
had been trying to do for some minutes. But 

164 Tar Heel Tales 

the delegates crowded around the edge until 
they were fifteen or twenty deep and the ros- 
trum was alive with opposing factions. 

After the Morrison-Sutton mix-up the 
fighting became general. Some fellow in the 
house knocked Dr. Norment over a seat, jam- 
ming his pipe stem halfway down his throat. 

Times were beginning to look squally for 
me, and I had no way out. To my left was 
a window, but if I went out that it meant a fall 
of 20 feet to the ground; to my right, an 
anteroom, with a small, thin wall ; going out, 
down the steps from the rostrum, the way I 
came in, seemed at that time an impossibility. 
While considering the advisability of going 
into the anteroom and closing the door I saw 
an upheaval across from me and before I 
could catch my breath an old darkey sailed 
into the room and slammed the door and I 
was cut off there. 

All the while the mob on the rostrum be- 
came blacker and more like a negro festival. 
The old cornfield negroes were just beginning 
to catch the spirit of the meeting. As the 
colored delegates increased the white ones 

*'Red Buck" 165 

stole away, imagining that something would 
be doing soon. 

Seeing the change in color and tempera- 
ment of the stage crowd I began to have se- 
rious concern about my own welfare. Had 
the fight been among my own people I might 
have taken a hand, but to sit idly by and be 
punctured with a pistol or a knife was not to 
my liking. I was slow in making up my 
mind. But there came a time when I had 
to act before thinking it over. As I sat there 
and wondered what injuries I would receive 
if I jumped out the window, a big negro, per- 
haps a ditcher, clad in overalls and wearing 
a cap and high-top boots, broke through the 
mob In the hall, jumped up on the stand im- 
mediately in front of me, and began to finger 
In his boot and swear. I heard him mumble 
to himself: " I'll be d — d ef I don't clar dis 
hall when I get ole Sallie." 

I had an Idea that " Ole Sallle " was a 
weapon of some sort, and I was right, for a 
half a second later the big nigger rose to his 
full height, threw open a razor, turned around 
three times (coming close to me as he 

1 66 Tar Heel Tales 

wheeled) and yelled, " Git off uv dis stage, 
don't I'll cut yo' throats — every one uv 

I was the first to leave, going over the 
heads of the mob that had collected about 
the edge of the stage. My notebook flew to 
the right and my lapboard to the left, while 
I continued my flight straight ahead down the 
tramway. As I struck the street, old man B. 
B. Terry, whom I knew very well, stood be- 
hind the wall of the brick building, and peep- 
ing up the exit, said : " I gad, that's no place 
for a well man, much less a cripple." I did 
not argue the point. 

I was followed by many hundreds. In 
fact, the entire Russell delegation bolted, some 
going through the windows and others down 
the tramway. 

The Dockery men remained and passed a 
few resolutions, but there was no more fight- 

Late that afternoon, when the westbound 
delegates were waiting at the station to take 
the train, some one discovered that Uncle 
Hampton, a very ancient colored delegate 

"Red Buck" 167 

from Monroe, was missing. I heard the 
talking and Inquired as to his appearance. 

" Why," said I, '' that Is the old fellow that 
went In the anteroom when the fight began." 

A party of us visited the hall and knocked 
on the locked door, but did not get a re- 
sponse. Finally we broke In and there sat 
old man Hampton, jouked down In the cor- 
ner, afraid to move. 

Claude Dockery, who sat on the roof and 
saw me make the famous leap, went to Ra- 
leigh and told Tom Pence, the city editor of 
The Times-Visitor, that " Red Buck had 
bolted the convention." I was the butt of 
papers and politicians for weeks. The Old 
Man said, in an editorial, that " Red Buck " 
would have to explain why he bolted and he 
did as best he could. Mr. Caldwell had dub- 
bed me " Brick Top," '' Strawberry Blond," 
and " Red Buck," and the last name stuck 
because of the Maxton convention and Claude 
Dockery's Interview. 


THE man who earns by the sweat of his 
brow or the cunning of his mind a com- 
fortable living for those dependent upon him 
should not complain but consider the mean 
lot of others, less fortunate, and rejoice at his 
good fate. There is not a day of my life that 
I do not see some wretch faring worse than 
I ; some poor person struggling desperately to 
keep body and soul together. 

Let us thank God for a sound mind and a 
sound body: that we do not think side-whis- 
kers are pretty and that we have not hair-lips. 

One day not long ago, while hurrying from 
my work, I passed a Greek peanut roaster, 
and wondered about his lot. Day after day 
I had seen him with his little push-cart, but 
rarely had I observed any customers. 

" How fares it to-day? '* said I, as I hur- 
ried by. 


Until Death Do Us Part 169 

" Fine, thank you : little mon, good book, 
good health, and heap of joy! " 

" There is a philosopher," thought I to my- 
self. " He is a happy man. His life seems 
to be sweet, although he has but little of the 
goods of this world." 

That very day John, that son of Athens, 
had sold less than fifty cents worth of truck, 
yet he was rejoicing as he sat on the curbing, 
reading the life of Thomas Jefferson in 

On a fine afternoon. In the spring of 1898, 
I walked from the Hotel LaFayette, at Fay- 
etteville, to the Cape Fear river. I had a 
purpose in making the trip; I had been 
threatened with a fit of melancholia and was 
trying to stave It off. I strolled down to the 
water's edge, where fishermen were wont to 
tie their boats at night, and stood there look- 
ing, looking, studying the topography of the 
country and the people In their labor for 
bread and meat. 

I tarried on a pretty little hill, just above 
the river, where I had a good view of the 
water and surrounding fields. The territory 

170 Tar Heel Tales 

for a hundred yards square in my immedi- 
ate vicinity was bald and smooth from the 
constant tread of fishermen's feet. Back of 
that, early vegetables and succulent grasses 
were springing up. Along the shore a dozen 
or more batteaus, or small fishing boats, were 
chained to stakes, or anchored to each other. 

Far up and down the river I could see 
men in boats, gliding noiselessly along the 
banks, setting hooks for the evening bite. 
It was past the middle of the afternoon and 
the big fish, cats, carp and red horse, were 
beginning to run. This the fishermen knew 
and were hurrying to place their hooks, 
baited with mussels. At nine o'clock at 
night and early the next morning the hooks 
were looked. 

While standing there, gazing here and 
there, I saw a party of small negro boys, 
wading to their waists in the water, graveling 
in the sand, for mussels to sell to the fisher- 
men. Silently and doggedly, the little fel- 
lows hunted the slimy, shell-covered creatures, 
gathering them by the hundred. 

The longer I remained there on that knoir, 

Until Death Do Us Part 171 

In the midst of that peculiarly fascinating 
life, the more Interested I became. Every 
man, every woman and every boy or girl 
appealed to me. Between five-thirty and six 
o'clock the men who baited and placed the 
hooks came ashore, fastened their boats, and 
went to their respective homes for supper 
and a moment with their wives and children 
before starting out for the night fish. I saw 
them go and come with their nets. From 
dark until about ten o'clock they fished for 
shad, the most valuable fish in the Cape Fear 
at that season of the year. 

It is Intensely fascinating to watch the 
movements and study the habits and man- 
ners of the people who get their living from 
the water. They belong to a certain class 
and are of a certain type, differing from their 
brothers and sisters who till the soil. Lov- 
ing the water and having become so used to 
it, they would not quit it for the land. 

As a rule, river people are strong and 
ruddy. Their faces are hard and sunburned 
and their muscles well-knit and tough. 

It is a wholesome life. 

172 Tar Heel Tales 

These be the sort of men I saw that after- 
noon. On the ground they were awkward, 
ill at ease, and grouchy, but in their boats 
graceful, sturdy and merry. 

Soon after I went down to the river and 
settled myself, to look on and learn what I 
could of the ways of the living things about 
me, I heard a shuffling noise behind me, and 
when I turned to ascertain the cause, my 
eyes fell upon the most pitiful creature it had 
ever been my fortune to see. A woman, yes, 
a woman, one of God's noblest creatures, 
stood and gazed in wonderment at me. She 
had approached within a few feet of me be- 
fore she realized that I was a living being; 
I was hid from the view of the path that 
leads from the town to the river by a thicket 
of weeds and grass. 

Once I began to look at the woman I could 
not keep from staring at her. She was rag- 
ged, wrinkled and unwashed. The clothes 
that covered her back, all bent and mis- 
shapen, were tattered and torn. Her leath- 
ery face was deeply seamed and drawn. 
The queer sound that attracted my attention 

Until Death Do Us Part 173 

as she came up, was made by her shoes, which 
were large, not mates, and without strings. 
They slipped up and down upon her naked 
heels and made the " slick-slack," " slick- 
slack " noise, so familiar to the country boy 
who has plowed in his father's cast-off 
brogans, several numbers too large for his 

The woman was pathetic-looking, her 
crestfallen face was partially hid from me 
by an antiquated, dilapidated, weather-beaten 
split bonnet. Every garment she wore was 
a misfit and threadbare. 

I felt myself drawn to this poverty-stricken 
creature. In order that I might find out 
something about her, I engaged her in con- 
versation before she could wheel and escape. 

" Are you going fishing? " I asked. 

" No," she answered pleasantly; " I came 
down to see if I could see my old man. He 
is fishing." 

" Do you live here? " 

" Yes. We have lived in this town thirty- 
odd years ; me and my old man." 

" What does he do for a living? " 

174 Tar Heel Tales 

" Well, he fishes now. He is getting so 
old and feeble that he cannot do anything 
else. When young and strong, he worked 
on a freight boat on the river, but his health 
failed about ten years ago, and we have had 
a mighty hard time since. I have actually 
seed the time that we did not have enough 
to eat. He is proud, and would not beg. 
He fishes, while I tries to make a little money 
washing and sewing, but he will not let me 
work much." 

" Have you any children? " 

" No, sir. Mister; God never gave us any, 
and I expect it is best. We are so poor they 
might have a hard time. Me and him are 
all of the two families left. He is the only 
person that I have to look to and he is good 
to me. He does his best, and God will not 
forget him for it." 

'* Do you own a home? " 

*' No, sir. We have nothing but a little 
bit of furniture. We live in a rented house 
and the man who owns it could put us out to- 
night, but he is a Christian and would not 
do it. We have paid no rent in six years. 

Until Death Do Us Part 175 

We just can't; that's the reason. But it 
won't be long now, for my old man is getting 
weak — weaker day by day. He can't live 
much longer, and when he goes I hope that 
I may go too. We have been together forty- 
odd years, and In death I pray that God will 
not part us. 

" The Lord has been good to us. We 
get comfort from the Bible. 

"We don't see anybody nowadays; we 
go nowhere, and nobody comes to see us. 
The friends we had in more prosperous days 
have deserted us; there Is nothing about us 
to attract people. Some seem to shun us 
through fear that we may beg, but never, 
never; we would starve first. My old man 
is too proud to beg. I live in fear that he 
may get so feeble that he cannot go and that 
we will have nothing. He often says that 
he hopes he will die some night after fishing 
all day. If he does, I want to go too." 

" Do you ever go to church? " 

** No, Mister; we haven't been in goin' 
on ten years. We have no fit clothes. The 
churches look too fine inside for our old rags, 

176 Tar Heel Tales 

but we read our old Bible every Sunday. 
We can't read much now; our eyes are bad; 
but we get much comfort out of the Good 

" The Church folks don't ever come to see 
us. They don't need us, as we ain't got no 
money to give. I guess when we die some 
good preacher will say a word over our 
graves; I don't know." 

This said, the old woman moved on to- 
ward the river, craning her neck as she went, 
so that she could see to the right of a clump 
of trees that stood near the water, looking 
for her husband, but she must not have seen 
him, for she soon passed back on her way 

Becoming interested in what she said, I 
made up my mind to remain there till the 
old gentleman arrived and look him over. 
I had a long wait, for it was almost dark 
when his little boat hove In sight. His wife 
had been back and looked up the river sev- 
eral times. She seemed lonely, restless and 

I felt sorry for the old woman, but was 

Until Death Do Us Part 177 

afraid to say so. It was, as she said, a bitter 
fight for existence. The aged pair had no 
associates, and actually suffered from pov- 

The last time she came to the landing 
she carried in her arms a tiny, toothless, 
starved dog. 

*' Is that your pet?" said I, anxious to 
reopen the conversation. 

" Yes, he's nearly twenty-two years old, 
and has been ours since a pup." 

^^ He is very old," I declared, for the want 
of something better. 

" Yes; and blind, and toothless." 

" Why do you keep him? " 

" For w^hat he has been. It would be 
cruel to kill him or desert him now, when 
he cannot take care of himself. I shall keep 
him until he dies, unless I go first. When 
he was younger he kept me company, and 
guarded our little home, when my old man 
was down the river for days and nights at a 
time, and now, if God spares me, I will see 
him through. I have to make a sort of 
soup for him to eat, and guide his footsteps. 

178 Tar Heel Tales 

I do not think he is here for much longer; 
he is getting very thin and frail.'* 

She let him down on the ground by her 
side, and said: *' Fido, do you love your 
mistress?'* and the grateful little brute 
shook his tail. 

The wife was not there when the husband 
came; though I had never seen him before 
I knew him when he landed. His face was 
haggard and worn, and his body emaciated. 
Some disease preyed at his vitals. His con- 
stitution was gone, but the blazing fire of 
pride still burned in his gray eyes. The will 
and the spirit were there. He had a fair 
string of fish, and after eating the smaller 
ones would have enough left to bring twenty- 
five cents. 

Having tied his boat, he shouldered his 
tackle, took up his fish, and climbed the hill 
past me. I did not see his eyes searching 
for the faithful wife who had four times 
come to greet him; this lack of care I did 
not like. He seemed too indifferent. Pos- 
sibly he was disappointed when his old com- 
panion was not there to meet him, not know- 

Until Death Do Us Part 179 

ing that she had come and gone time after 
time. He dragged his weary limbs over the 
brow of the hill, and toward the city. As 
he went by, I had a good opportunity to 
observe his clothes. He was not the one- 
gallus fellow that the politicians so often 
refer to, but the no-gallus one. His trousers 
were held up by sharp hip-bones and his 
shirt was decorated with vari-colored patches. 

I followed the old man, until he met his 
wife, who was coming In a half-trot from 
their little cabin. The meeting was full of 
meaning. No word was uttered; no- time 
lost. He looked solemn, the least bit angry, 
and she smiled, a bitter sad smile, and turned 
and followed him. Her eyes were on the 
fish, giving them a cash valuation. 

All of this passed without a sound from 

That night, after I had enjoyed a good 
meal, to gratify my curiosity I walked by the 
home of the lonely couple, and found them 
enjoying a pipe of tobacco each. The little 
dog was there, on the top step between them, 
and they were apparently happy. 

i8o Tar Heel Tales 

As I moved on, I said to myself: "I 
wonder how it would feel to be penniless, 
friendless, decrepit and old, but too proud 
to beg? " 

May fortune smile on the old fisherman, 
his loyal helpmeet and their little dog ! 


THE summer season was In full blast at 
Lake Toxaway. Hundreds of South- 
erners and scores of others were there, en- 
joying the Invigorating climate, the cooling 
breezes, and the open-air pastimes — golf, 
tennis, fishing, horseback riding, and rowing. 
For weeks the weather had been fair and 
fine, and the beautiful and popular resort, in 
the Blue Ridge, teemed with vivacious vis- 
itors, who romped on the lake. In the woods, 
and along the roads by day and danced, 
played cards and other Indoor games, and 
chatted In the evenings, making merry fifteen 
hours a day. 

Among the guests at Toxaway Inn was an 
Englishman, a Mr. Ferrler, who had come 
to North Carolina In search of rare beetles. 
To the other guests of the fashionable hos- 
telry Ferrler was a freak — a bug hunter — 


1 82 Tar Heel Tales 

who, although he mixed but rarely with the 
crowd, was well known to all by his tall, 
lanky form, his long stride, and energetic and 
positive air, on account of which he had in- 
curred, without his knowledge, the dislike of 
many who came in touch with him. Wher- 
ever he went he left the impression that he 
believed England was the only place fit for 
a decent person to live. 

Captain James Brusard, proprietor of the 
inn, would not have tolerated Ferrier, with 
his whims and kicks, had he not been one 
of his most profitable guests, occupying an 
expensive room, for which he paid an ex- 
orbitant price. The Englishman was liberal 
with his money, but his manner, which to the 
average Southerner seemed surly and uncivil, 
made him disagreeable to those with whom 
he came in contact, especially the easy-going, 
indolent servants, most of whom were old- 
time negroes, such as had been with the Bru- 
sards for more than half a century. The 
excellent fare, carefully selected and well 
cooked, the exhilarating atmosphere, the re- 
freshing water and the wealth of insects and 

Uncle George and the Englishman 183 

flowers pleased him very much, but hilarious 
pleasure-seekers, and the indifferent negroes 
riled him. The pretty, elegantly-dressed 
women, with their merry chatter, did not 
appeal to him. 

" Bugs ! Bugs ! ! Nothing but bugs ! " 
was his cry. 

" I never seed sich a man since I been 
born," said Uncle George, the head porter. 
" We ain't got nuthin' dat suits him. When- 
ever I see him comin', wid dat baskit on his 
arm, an' dat single-bar'l glass on his eye, den 
I knows some trouble's on de way." 

Ferrier, much to the joy of his fellow 
lodgers, spent most of his time in the woods, 
hunting insects. Every sunny day he would 
leave bright and early and stay away until 
late in the afternoon, sometimes tramping ten 
or twelve miles and back between suns. Na- 
tives, as well as visitors, soon became in- 
terested in him and his work, but no one 
ever sought him out to interrogate him, or 
to converse with him. His demeanor was 
forbidding, yet he never intentionally af- 
fronted any one. To the few he made up to 

184 Tar Heel Tales 

he was very affable and likable. He meant 
well, but his neighbors could not become 
accustomed to his brusqueness. 

The Toxaway country abounds in deer, 
grouse and trout. During the busy season, 
sportsmen bring in many trophies of the 
hunt. Ferrler, If one were to judge from his 
conversation, was an authority on game. In 
talking of the catch or kill of the North Caro- 
lina fishermen or hunters, he would speak 
slightingly, and this, more than any other 
thing, made him unpopular. 

" I 'clar' 'fo' Gawd," said Uncle George, 
one day, *' ain't we got nuthin' as good as 
whut dey's got In Englan' ? " 

Robert Brusard, son of the Captain, 
caught a very large trout, brought it home 
and exhibited It in front of the hotel, and 
one after another declared that It was the 
finest fish of the kind he had ever seen, but 
when Ferrler saw It he shook his head, and 
said: *' Yes, yes, that Is a big trout, but we 
have larger ones than that In England." 
When a grouse was shown he made about the 
same comparison, and a deer, always giving 

Uncle George and the Englishman 185 

his country the best of It. This kept up until 
every American in the community was mad 
at Ferrier. 

*' Ef I live, so hep me Gawd, I'll git some- 
fin' bigger dan whut dey's gut in Englan'," 
declared Uncle George, the boss of all the 
darkies. " I sho' is gwine to git even wid 
dat man. 

" When Marse Robert go out here an' 
ketch de bigges' trout dat de oles' men in 
dese parts ever seed, den come *long dat man, 
wid his single-bar'l eyeglass, slap It up to his 
face, an' 'low: * Yes, dat's er putty big fish, 
but dey's gut bigger ones dan dat in Englan'.' 
I don't say much, fur I ain't never been dare. 
But dat ain't all. No, sir, he don't stop 
den, but des keep on an' on. 

" De yudder day, when Marse Jim killed 
dat grouse — I believe dat's whut dey call 
It, but it look des lak a sho' nuff ole speckle 
hen to me — an' fetch it here, all whut see It, 
'cepin' dat Englishman, say dat It's de big- 
ges' bird uv de kind in all de Ian', I won- 
dered whut he gwine to say. Yes, sir, I des 
wonder whut he gwine to say. But I ain't 

1 86 Tar Heel Tales 

hafter wonder long, fur he come 'long, step- 
pin' two yards at a time, an' stop, an' put 
on dat single-bar'l eyeglass, an' look down 
at de grouse. I helt my breaf until he say: 
' Yes, yes, dat's er putty big bird, but dey's 
gut bigger grouse dan dat in Englan'.' 

" Dat wuz too much. I des gut right sick 
when he say it. An' no longer dan de day 
befo', right dare in de back yard, he say dat 
de deer whut de gemmun frum Atlanty kilt 
wuz er big one, but not as big as de ones dey 
have in Englan'.'* 

One afternoon, not long after the deer in- 
cident, the old negro was fishing in Horse- 
shoe River, at the foot of the mountain, 
when he saw another fisherman catch a mud 
turtle, or cooter, as the natives called it. At 
the sight of the wriggling thing, a happy 
thought came to Uncle George. 

" I sho' will trade fur dat cooter an' git 
even wid de Englishman,'* said he. *' Yes, 
sir; dat's des whut I'll do.*' 

Going up to the man who had landed the 
turtle, George asked: "Say, boss, how'll 
you swap dat tuckle fur some fish? " 

Uncle George and the Englishman 187 

a T'l 

I'll trade fair," said the mountaineer. 

" .Well, I'm yo' man, ef you will, fur I 
wants dat cooter," declared the darkey. 

*' I'll give you two trouts fur him? " 

The exchange was made and George set 
out for home. No one knew what the negro 
was up to until he let a few of his friends, 
white and black, onto his game. 

** Marse Jim, I wants you an' Marse Rob- 
ert to come roun' to de back yard des arter 
dinner," said George to Mr. Brusard. 

"What are you up to, George?" asked 
the white man. 

" Des a little fun, sir. Be sho' an' be 
dere ! " 

George went through the house, telling 
those whom he liked that he would expect 
them at the rear of the building that evening 
at half-past nine. 

At the appointed hour the little yard 
was full of curious persons, anxious to 
know what sort of trick the ex-slave had 
on hand. 

" George, what is this you are giving us? " 
asked young Brusard. 

1 88 Tar Heel Tales 

" Ax me no questions, an' I'll tell you no 
lies," answered the negro. 

" Marse Jim, ef you all des wait here till 
de Englishman go to his room den you'll 
see some fun." 

" What have you done to Mr. Ferrier's 
room? " 

" Des evenin', while I wuz down on 
Horseshoe, fishin', I seed a mountain man 
ketch er tuckle, one of dese here cooters 
whut bites an' holds on till it thunders, an' 
I swapped fur it, brought it home an' tuck 
It up dere an' put It In dat man's bed. Yes, 
sir; I slip up dere right easy lak, pull de kiver 
down an' slip him in beween de sheets, so dat 
when Mr. Ferrier hop in he'll hop out ergln. 
All you gut to do Is to wait." 

A little snicker passed over the crowd. 

Soon after nine the bug-hunter climbed the 
stairs from the office to his room, unlocked 
the door, struck a match and lit the candle 
on the table by the bed. 

"Now listen," whispered Uncle George; 
" he's up dere. Did you hear him scratch de 

Uncle George and the Englishman 189 

match. He won't be dere long 'fo' he jumps 
in de bed, an' den trouble'll begin. 

*' Look, look; see de light go out I 

*' Now listen, an' you'll hear him bounce 

*' Listen; hear de bed a screachin' I 

'' He's in." 

" Help ! Ho ! " came from the window 

" Listen! " cried the darkey. 

The crowd below could hear everything. 
Ferrler sprung out of the bed, fell over a 
chair, rose to his feet, scrambled out the door, 
and came flying down the back way, yelling 
every jump. 

^'Help! A dog! A mad cat!" 

The onlookers stood perfectly still, while 
Ferrier rushed into the yard, with the turtle 
hanging on to his night shirt. 

**Take it off! Kill It!" shouted the 

" Des let him run," whispered Uncle 

Round and round the frightened fellow 

190 Tar Heel Tales 

went, with the turtle swinging against his 
legs, now and then scratching them. 

*' Knock this thing off, George," he cried 
to the old negro. 

*' Ef you'll stop so I kin hit It widout hit- 
tin' you," was the reply. 

Picking up a broom handle, George cracked 
the creature on the head and broke it loose. 

** What in the name of the Lord is that, 
George?" asked the Briton, as he turned 
and gazed upon the dying turtle. 

" Dat, sir, is a 'Merlkin bed bug. Is you 
gut any in Englan' dat kin beat it? " 



HUMAN nature is the same the world 
over, and the train is the best place to 
get the cream of It. 

The other day, while on my way from 
Kansas City to St. Louis, in a day coach, I 
lost my seat to two ladies, who, disregarding 
my suit case and coat, had taken possession 
while I was in the rear getting a drink of 
water. This I did not mind, as there were 
plenty of seats vacant. Soon after the new- 
comers had arrived they began to buy and 
eat fruit, using a time-table which I had se- 
cured and marked for my convenience, as a 
receptacle for the peelings and seed. This 
annoyed me just a little, for I could not get 
a fresh one until I reached the end of my 
journey, but I said nothing. 

An hour later, after I had taken a short 
nap and lost the run of the stations, I de- 


192 Tar Heel Talcs 

sired to consult my schedule. Looking over 
the way, I found that the younger woman had 
disappeared, leaving her companion, an old 
lady dressed in heavy black, wearing on her 
head an antiquated split bonnet. Thinking 
of nothing but my time-table, I got up and 
went to where the aged traveler sat and, 
without much ado, reached down and picked 
It up. My intention was to steal away un- 
observed, so that the woman would not feel 
called upon to offer an apology for taking 
my seat, but I was foiled. As I lifted the 
book a cold, bony, clammy hand shot from be- 
neath a black sleeve and fastened my wrist 
with a vice-like grip. The turn was so sud- 
den and so unexpected that I lost my equi- 

" My time-table, good lady, Is all that I 
want," said I, as meekly as possible. 

*' It's mine," was the sharp reply, the hand 
closing on my wrist. 

*' I beg your pardon, madam, but I have 
carried that folder for two days." 

*' You hain't no sich thing, fur I got it 
this mornin'." 

She Didn't Like My Yellow Shoes 193 

" I do not like to dispute your word, 
madam, but I left this book on this seat and 
it was here when you came this morning." 

" You're just a tellin' what ain't so, an' 
I don't lak to be meddled wid by no man 
wid yaller shoes." 

" O, I see it Is my shoes you do not like ! " 

" No, I don't lak you ner none lak you. 
What you got on that long thing fur? " 

I wore a long automobile coat, or duster, 
to protect my clothes, and the old lady did 
not like that. Seeing what a tempest I had 
stirred, I decided to fight it out just for fun. 

" Madam, you wouldn't mind my taking 
my suit case out of here so that you could 
have more room for your feet? " 

" No. It hain't got no bizness in here 

" Why, my dear, I know It hasn't," said 

" I ain't none of your dear, an' don't you 
call me that nuther." 

" Pardon me, sister, but I meant to be 
pleasant to you." 

*' I wouldn't choose any of your pleasant- 

194 Tar Heel Tales 

ness. It's just lak you drummer chaps. 
I've heard of your doin's before." 

She thought I was a knight of the grip, 
and feared that I would flirt with her. That 
was interesting. 

" My coat — that's it hanging there above 
your head, where I put it before you took 
my seat." 

" 'Tain't your seat I How come it your 

" I am not claiming it, mother, but just 
explaining how my coat got there — that's 
all. No, it is your seat by the right of pos- 
session, and I should not ask you to move if 
I had to hang on the bell cord." 

" You make out lak you're powerful per- 
lite, but the way you drummers do nobudy 
— not even an ole woman lak me — kin tell 
what you're up to." 

" I beg your pardon, madam, but I am 
not a drummer. I live one thousand miles 
from here, and am on my way home from 
the Democratic convention, at Denver, to see 
my wife and little girl. I have tried to be- 
have myself and it grieves me to think that 

She Didn't Like My Yellow Shoes 195 

I offended you, but I am sure you will not 
say that I did It intentionally. I entered this 
train early this morning, at Kansas City, and 
picked this seat, where the sun would not 
shine on me, and occupied it. Later, you and 
your friend came in and captured it while 
I drank at the water cooler, and I had origi- 
nally selected one that your good taste made 
you prefer to the many empty ones that were 
here when you came. That is the whole 
story. I wanted to see my time-table, and 
came for it. You took hold of my arm — 
something I never permit any woman but my 
wife to do — " 

" You know that ain't so," declared the 
disputant hotly. " I never held your arm." 

" Look now, my dear, and see if you have 
not my wrist." 

That was the blow that killed mother, for 
she still held my wrist, although I had 
dropped the folder. Here a bit of color 
mounted the pale, wrinkled cheeks. 

*' I love to see a pretty woman blush," 
said I, smiling from ear to ear. 

" You shet your mouth. I ain't blushin' I 

196 Tar Heel Tales 

I wish my brother was here. Td make him 
crack your head.'^ 

" Your brother — where is your husband 
or your son? " 

*' I ain't got none, as I have never been 

*' O, I see; you are still enjoying single 
bliss — a charming old maid? " 

" It's none of your bizness what I am. 
You've got nuthin' to do with me." 

Passengers several seats back and front 
were listening to the controversy, which had 
been fast and sharp, and enjoying it. 

" Well, good soul, I will leave you if you 
will give me my time-table." 

" It's none of yourn, but take it an' go." 

" Not until you are convinced that it is 


" It's mine, but you kin have It." 

"Just one word? Did you write your 
name on your book? " 

" No, I didn't." 

" Well, if you will look inside there you 
will find my name. If you do not I shall 
apologize and give you a basket of candy." 

She Didn't Like My Yellow SHoes 197 

" I don't want your candy." 

" I know you don't, but you will look for 
my name? " 

As she opened the book and revealed the 
name, I said: "That's my handwriting, as 
you will see by comparing it with this on my 

" Now look on page forty and see if the 
table from Kansas City to St. Louis is not 

She was convinced that I owned the book. 

" Now, madam, if you will look over there 
on top of your telescope you will find your 
table, right where you put it when you came 
In. I am sorry to have troubled you, and 
as we journey through this vale of tears if 
I can ever do you a turn you may call on 
me. I like your spunk." 

" You go on about your bizness an' let me 
erlone an' I'll 'tend to mine. If you'll throw 
them yaller shoes in the river an' give that 
jimswinger to some nigger you'll look putty 

When the old damsel got up to leave the 
train, I hurried up, like a young gallant, 

198 Tar Heel Tales 

grabbed up her luggage and carried it to 
the door before she had time to protest. 

" Good-bye, sweetheart," I shouted, as the 
train pulled out, and in reply she yelled: 
*' Shet your mouth, smarty! " 


C4TT7HY don't you slide in by the 
VV frowzy blonde?" asked Sanford 
of Roark, who backed himself up against a 
seat in the first-class car, as the train came 
down the mountain. 

" She's like a snow peak," said Roark. 
" I passed and looked longingly, but you 
should have seen the icy stare she handed 

" Yes, but when the train is crowded, as 
it is, she is not entitled to a whole seat," re- 
sponded Sanford. *' You would be justified 
in scrouging in." 

" It is no question of my right," said 
Roark, " but those frigid eyes took the nerve 
out of me. I think she's been in cold stor- 

" In beating about the country, old fellow, 
I have become somewhat of a physiognomist. 


200 Tar Heel Tales 

The woman or man who holds an entire seat, 
In a crowded car, does so by force. Take 
the blonde there, why, you could not any 
more approach her than you could a bull dog 
nibbling on a bone. 

*' If I am one of many who occupy seats 
In a car and a stranger asks me If I will share 
with him I feel complimented. The person 
asked to share a seat with me, by me, should 
feel honored, for I do not sit down by any 
old scrub If I can avoid it, and I usually can. 
One day, not long ago, I saw a little girl on 
a car, unattended, go to a gentleman whom 
she had never seen before and take a seat 
by him. I did not know the man, but had 
admired his kind, gentle face, and the child 
had picked him as a safe companion. 

" What a handsome compliment ! I 
would give my fortune for that man's coun- 
tenance. Mark Twain Is credited w^Ith say- 
ing that, in passing, a dog will lick the hand 
of an honest man, but will growl at a 

" Instinct tells us. 

*' Of course, I should like to have that 

Afraid of the Frowzy Blonde 201 

seat — any seat — but the young woman does 
not want to share it. I shall stand." 

The Shoofly was full to overflowing that 
day, but the blonde, with the wealth of hair, 
such as It was, and the drowsy look, traveled 
unmolested. Somewhere, while crossing the 
foothills, she lifted her feet to the seat, let 
her head down upon the aisle-arm, and slept. 
The engine blew^ the wheels squeaked, and 
babies cried, but she knew it not; she was 
making up for lost time. 

" She's dead to the world now," said San- 
ford joyfully. 

*' Yes," declared Roark, *' and If she 
doesn't mind some of that hair will drop to 
the floor. I have been watching It shake as 
the car rocks on." 

" I should laugh if it w^ould," declared 

At that juncture the upper end of a long, 
yellow curl broke from Its mooring, fell back 
and began to fly with the winds. 

" Look at that," said Roark. 

The curl whirled around a time or two 
and fell to the floor. 

202 Tar Heel Tales 

The train moved on, crossing rough places 
in the road, and the sleeping head went up 
and down. A second curl — what is known 
as a Minerva knot — began to loosen in the 
east and the west. 

" It's a landslide this time,'* said San- 

" It looks that way," Roark acquiesced. 

" But I shall not complain, no matter what 

" I wish that lady would wake up," said 
a female voice across the aisle. " I fear her 
hair will lose its Grecian effect. But I will 
not arouse her; it might make her mad." 

" I believe, without being able to say pos- 
itively, Charlie, that she has on fluffy ruffers," 
said Roark, laughing. 

" I have studied the combination and I 
can't quite unlock it," said Sanford, " but 
I think she has what they call a transforma- 
tion pompadour, with coronet braid, zephyr 
curls, all of which is covered with a bunch 
of real Grecian curls, but I must admit that 
I am not much on diagnosing a case like 

Afraid of the Frowzy Blonde 203 

** Make way, for the earth Is giving," said 
a citizen w^ho had just arrived. 

A section of hair, shaped like a shovel, 
such as the farmers use for bursting out mid- 
dles, or to go with a sweep, gave way and 
fell. Inside up. 

*' That's a loller-perlooler," said Roark. 
** I wonder if we could get a basket to put 
it in?" 

The rain of ornaments had started. 
Everybody was expectant. Rats, rolls, puffs, 
curls and knots were loosening. A bundle 
of wire, something akin to a small mouse 
trap, came with the hair. 

*' Nope, it's the Wire Trust In disguise," 
declared Roark. 

*' Hold your tongue ! It's a summer ho- 
tel," said the newcomer, who had become 
thoroughly Interested, as a bit of hair, done 
up In fine silk, fell out. " Rats, rat traps and 
mosquito nets." 

The lady began to wiggle. 

*' Carry me away," said Roark. 

*' It's to the Land of Nod for me," ex- 
claimed Sanford, 

204 Tar Heel Tales 

** The baggage room for me," said the 
third observer. 

Ten more rats, six rolls, two curls and a 
small knot were the last to go down. Piled 
on the floor, in the shape of a cone, was a 
peck measure full of all sorts of hair dress- 
ing. Yellow prevailed, but there was any- 
thing from a drab to a chemical blonde. 

The owner, one time possessor, waked in 
the course of time, and, on feeling curious 
about the head, ran her hand back to see if 
she had lost anything. 

"What about that?" said she to herself, 
realizing the extent of her loss. 

" Ghnarr! " snorted Sanford, snoring. 

*'Whee-oo!" retorted Roark, who had 
fallen suddenly asleep in a seat, just cap- 

" I am so thankful that everybody is 
asleep," said the blonde, aside. " What a 
disgrace? " 

" Spoo-it ! " snored Sanford. 

Bit by bit, piece by piece, the dislocated 
charms were picked up and shoved into a 
traveling bag, and the young woman retired 

Afraid of the Frowzy Blonde 205 

to the toilet room, from which she emerged 
an hour later, looking as pert and as grand 
as ever, just as if nothing unusual had hap- 
pened, every rat, or curl, in its place. 

Sanford, Roark and their new friend, the 
man who arrived late, disputed over recent 
baseball scores. 


JAN PIER, the little Frenchman, who 
came here several months ago from Nor- 
folk, is going back to the Atlantic coast, 
where he can hear the roar of the mighty 
waters as they break upon the American 
shores, and see the ships as they come and go. 

One morning, about ninety days ago, as I 
approached the square, on East Trade, I be- 
held a shock-headed boy, bowing low shining 
a shoe. Beneath the auburn locks shone the 
skin of an Anglo-Saxon. 

*' A white shoe-shine?" said I to Chris 
Karnazes, the fruit dealer, at the Central 
Hotel corner. 

" Yes," answered Chris, joyfully and 

" Me brought him to work here." 

"What is his name?" 

*' Jan." 

It was a beautiful Sunday — fair, cool 


Jan Pier — the Shoeshine 207 

and bracing, and everybody save Jan Pier 
and two colored associates had on their holi- 
day clothes. Chris wore a clean shirt, white 
collar and red tie. It was his day off, but 
Jan, the newcomer, the boy of seventeen, 
with thick brown hair, and big brownish eyes, 
bent to his labors, side by side with negro 
lads, in tattered togs. Not a word did the 
Frenchman utter, nor a time lift his face, 
but slaved on and on, hour after hour, polish- 
ing shoes, and taking in nickels. 

" Have a shine," said Chris to me. 

I mounted the stand. Jan Pier, without 
looking up, ran his rag across my shoe. 

"Where are you from, young fellow?" 
I asked. 

No answer; not even a grunt. 

" Where, boy, is your home? '* 

Chris spoke to him in Greek. 

" France," said Jan, looking up Into my 

"Where did he come from, Chris?" 

" Norfolk." 

That was the first time I saw Jan Pier. 

A Frenchman — an auburn-haired French- 

2o8 Tar Heel Tales 

man — with bright eyes, working for a 
Greek and with an A fro- American shoeblack! 

How could it be? 

A week later, Jan Pier, with downcast 
look, soiled clothes, and tear-stained cheeks, 
came to me, silently begging. 

" What is the matter? " I asked. 

" Me no work; no mon; no friends." 

I pitied Jan, but what could I do. The 
next day the Greek at the corner gave him 
work. I asked a negro boy why Jan left 
Chris, and he answered: " Jan knock down, 
Chris say." 

I had Jan shine my shoes every time they 
needed it. I wrote a story about him, and 
advertised his business, hoping that it might 
prosper. But Jan flourished not. Once 
more he loafed the streets penniless, hungry, 
friendless, and far, far from home and loved 

" Jan, where did you come from? " 

" Norfolk." 

"Before that?" 

" Greece." 

" Before that, even?*^ 

Jan Pier — the Shoeshlne 209 

" France." 

"When did you leave France?" 

" I was twelve years old." 

" Did you run away? " 

" Yes." 

" Where did you go? " 

" To Turkey." 

" How did you get to this country? " 

" On a big ship." 

" Were you a stowaway? " 

" I helped the seamen." 

That IS the story of Jan Pier. He ran 
away from home, when a small boy, went to 
Turkey, learned Greek, and four years later 
shipped for America, and landed at Norfolk. 
In the course of a short time he drifted to 
Charlotte, where he has been very unhappy, 
nobody to talk with, no kind friend to help 
him, and no wise hand to guide him. His 
energy, courage, and stout heart and body 
have kept him going. But, now, alas, he Is 
tired of the struggle among strangers, who 
do not understand his language, and will go 
back to Norfolk, and, perhaps, home. A 
generous-hearted Greek, of one of the Greek 

2IO Tar Heel Tales 

restaurants, Is getting up a purse to defray 
his railroad fare to the Virginia city. 

Soon the little outcast will say " adieu." 

When Jan came to me the second time, 
with the woe-begone look, I took him to 
Buster Brown, the mailing clerk, and recom- 
mended him for a newsboy. Buster ran his 
cruel eye over him and asked, in Pilot Moun- 
tain vernacular: "Have you ever har- 
pooned the public in any way? " 

" A coup sur," said Jan. 

" What's that youVe handed me? " asked 

" ' Surely,' he means," said I. 

"What is he?" 

" French." 

" Will you accept mc as a friend? " asked 
Buster, proud to have a real Frenchman for 
an employe. 

" A bras ouverts," was the reply. 

" Come again," said the Pilot Mountain 

" He says * with open arms * he will be 
your friend." 

" Good, I gad." 

Jan Pier — the Shoeshlne 211 

" Coute qu'Il coute," declared Jan, smil- 

*' The devil abit," said Dick Allen, who 
had just come up, " and what is it he says? " 

*' He has sworn to be Buster's friend ' Let 
it cost what It may.' " 

" A beau jeu, beau retour (one good turn 
deserves another) ." 

Buster and Jan, the one six-feet-five, erect, 
weighing 260, and the other, four-feet-one, 
, stocky, and stooped, ambled off toward the 
press room. 

" That pile of old papers, under the table, 
will be your bed, Monsieur Jan Pier," said 
' Buster. " Your drawing room and all. 
The spigot will be your wash basin, and any 
old issue of The Observer or Chronicle, your 
towel. May you prosper." 

Jan Pier stirred the enmity of the native 
newsboys, some of whom hammered him the 
next morning when out of sight of the shop 
force. Although dejected and sad, the 
Frenchman sold every paper he took out. 
Offering one to a traveling man, who was 
climbing in a hack at the Selwyn, he imagined 

212 Tar Heel Tales 

that his offer had been accepted, and -ran to 
the station, four blocks away, keeping close 
in the wake of the hustling horse. Seeing 
what the boy had done the salesman said: 
" I will take two." Jan was delighted. 

Unable to talk and tell his troubles, sur- 
rounded by hostile youngsters, and contend- 
ing with prospective customers made life one 
long, desperate fight for the Frenchman. 
The climax came one night, when he slum- 
bered in his corner beneath the table in the 
press room, and a loafer, a town lad, slept 
above him. Somebody, on mischief bent, 
turned the hose on the shaver on the top 
berth, and the water poured down on Jan. 

That was the straw that broke the camel's 
back — the fighting word had passed, and 
the pent-up dander of the bushy red head was 
at last aroused. As the intruding chap fell 
off of his perch Jan nailed him, believing 
that he had wet him, and such a fight as was 
never witnessed In The Observer building be- 
fore followed. 

Round and round the diminutive pugilists 
went until Jan showed signs of the savage. 

Jan Pier — the Shoeshlne 213 

and onlookers interfered to prevent murder. 
The devil in Jan was in tumult and he fought 
like a Spartan. 

After that the boys — the paper sellers — 
left Jan alone. 

Now, Jan is going to leave us. His 
friends will chip in and help him on the way. 

He will be missed in circles where his au- 
burn hair has become familiar. Jan, indus- 
trious, capable, and good-natured, but unfa- 
miliar with the ways of this country, deserves 
credit for being as good as he is. 

Some day Jan Pier may wander back again. 


^^ THERE'S one thing dat I can't under- 

JL/ Stan*," said William Gorrell, the 
doorkeeper at the Southern Manufacturers* 
Club. " Yes, sir, an' it's puzzled me er 
whole heap." 

" What is that, William? " I inquired. 

" How come you don't hear 'bout no nig- 
ger havin' dese new f angle diseases — dis 
here bell-aker an' 'penderseetis." 

"Bell-aker?" I asked. 

" Yes, sir, dis misery dat comes fum eatin' 
corn. How come no nigger don't have It? 
Dere ain't nobudy whut eats more corn bread 
an' mush dan er sho' 'nuff nigger. Up home 
— dat's in Greensboro — de niggers say : 

" ' Down de country de nigger say he 
loves mush, 

" * Up de country de nigger say for God's 
sake hush ! ' 

" Haf de niggers in dis country's been 



William and Appendicitis 215 

raised on mush, an' corn dodger, an' I ain't 
never seed one die wid bell-aker." 

" You mean pellagra? " 

" I don't know whut you call It." 

*' I dismiss the pellagra, for I don't know 
anything about it, but there's nothing strange 
about the negro not having appendicitis, Wil- 
liam," said I. " You know what the vermi- 
form appendix is, don't you? " 

" No, sir, 'ceptin' dat It's somefin' dat you 
gut an' don't needj an' It can't stay in yer 
when it gets hot." 

" You know about Darwin's theory of evo- 

" No, sir, to tell you de truf, I ain't seed 
Mr. Dargin in almos' er year." 

" I don't mean Jim Dargin, the traveling 
man, but Dr. Darwin, the great scientist, a 
learned man of the last century who con- 
tended that we all came from monkeys. 
You have heard of that theory? " 

" Yes, sir, I'se heard it said dat we come 
fum monkeys, but I ain't bellevin' everything 
dat I hears." 

William cocked one eye up a little and 

2i6 Tar Heel Tales 

prepared to listen. He did not catch on to 
the word *' evolution," but when I said that 
Mr. Darwin was the man that believed that 
a man came from a monkey he understood. 
He had heard of that claim. 

"You have heard that, then, William?" 
I continued. 

" Whut, boss, dat er man come fum er 
monkey? " 

" Yes." 

** Yes, sir, but I ain't put no faith in it." 

" Well, I do, William; I believe that Dar- 
win was right, and I have come to this be- 
lief since I parted with my appendix." 

" Don't tell me, boss ! " 

" It is this way about your appendix," I 
declared, " the man who is fartherest re- 
moved from the monkey has the smallest 
appendix and is most liable to have the ap- 
pendicitis, and the closest, has the largest. 
As one becomes more civilized his appendix 
decreases. The doctors, on making the in- 
cision in my abdomen, found that I had a 
very small appendix, so small, in fact, that 
it became stopped and Inflamed. 

William and Appendicitis 217 

" I should say that If your friend, Rastus 
Johnsing, over there, were opened it would 
be discovered that his vermiform appendix 
is as large as my arm and as long as a rolling 
pin. Your appendix, or that of any ordi- 
nary, dark-hued negro, is about the size of 
a common guano horn." 
^ ^ " Humph ! My Gawd ! How come ? " 

"How come? Because your race is not 
more than 200 years from the monkey. I 
, would not be surprised if your great-great 
grandfather did not run wild in the forests of 
Africa, living off of bugs and other insects. 
You know, as I sit back there at my desk 
' every day and watch you climb over this grill 
and brush off the dust, I feel sorry for you. 
You like to climb — so does anyone not far 
from the monkey. In the course of 2,000 
years the negro will begin to have appendici- 
tis, long after the white people lose theirs." 

" Hold on, boss ! How long did you say 
it would be? " 

" About 2,000 years, I should say." 

" Humph! I'll be gone den. What you 
say makes me feel good. I ain't haf as 

2i8 Tar Heel Tales 

much Interested In dc race as I Is In William 
Gorrell, an' his picklnlnnies. Ef mer *pen- 
dlx Is as big as er guano sack it ain't nobudy's 
bizness but mine." 



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